The Waanyi Aboriginal people have secured outright the Lawn Hill and Riversleigh stations after a landmark deal signed this week.
Waanyi SPC Pty Ltd, which represents the traditional owners, have acquired 100 per cent ownership bringing to fruition a native title deal agreed more than two decades ago.
New Century Resources, which owns New Century Mine, have sold their 49 percent stake in the Lawn Hill and Riversleigh Pastoral Holding Company for $9.8 million
It means the 539,000 hectares of land are now under Aboriginal ownership.
Waanyi SPC, which already owned the other 51 percent was formed in 1998 out of the Gulf Communities Agreement, the native title agreement for New Century mine.
The mine closed by MMG in 2015 and reopened in 2018 by New Century as one of the world's top 10 zinc mine, is surrounded by the Lawn Hill and Riversleigh stations
New Century managing director Patrick Walta said the sale preserves New Century access for exploration.
"It has been a long-held ambition of the Waanyi people to achieve full ownership of the Lawn Hill and Riversleigh Pastoral Holdings Company, whose properties are of significant cultural value," Mr Walta said. "New Century is pleased to have helped facilitate this outcome and wishes them success for ongoing operation of the properties."
The mine owners originally bought the two stations in 1996 and established the Lawn Hill and Riversleigh Pastoral Holding Company (LHRPHC) in 1998.
The Waanyi SPC were offered 49 percent shares at the time and their interest later rose to 51 percent, making them the majority shareholder.
In 2018 the Waanyi successfully bargained a landmark contract with New Century Resources in the Waanyi Downer Joint Venture.
The life of mine contract will provide services for the mining of East Fault Block and South Block Resources immediately adjacent to the Century open pit mine.
The JV has been called an "industry first" and will allow for proper recognition of Indigenous cultural heritage.