We are engaging and consulting with Traditional Owners.
Of our current operations, we have existing agreements with the Kariyarra, Palyku, Nyiyaparli, Ngarla, and Nyamal People, and are working closely with other groups including the Banjima and Yindjibarndi People in regard to future activity. Over the last seven years alone, Hancock has contributed well in excess of $300 million in royalties to these communities, as well as other significant investments in health, education, arts and culture.
We are proud to be West Australian owned and operated and we take a leadership role in working with Traditional Owners, communities and regulators to ensure we achieve best in class outcomes in fulfilling our license to operate on native title land. We take our responsibility seriously in the management of the environment and preservation of culture and heritage, all of which must be reviewed through a rigorous approval process before development of new projects, and ultimately mining operations, can be undertaken.
Hancock has had long term engagement with Traditional Owners. In the 1990’s our Executive Chairman Mrs Gina Rinehart gave a significant land area which was part of Mulga Downs Station to the local community at the request of a senior Elder so that he could provide cultural learnings to younger Indigenous people, which continues to exist today. The gift of this land was not required under any legislation or regulation and demonstrates leadership and goodwill in relationships with local aboriginal communities dating back 30 years.
This history has been built upon and expanded by providing pathways for Traditional Owner employment and support for Indigenous businesses.
East West Pilbara (EWP), a Traditional Owner business, was awarded a mining contract (as part of a joint venture with Ozland) for the Miralga Creek mine within our Atlas Iron operations. It is believed to be the first such award in the Pilbara where a traditional owner business has been selected to conduct significant mining services – including all aspects of mining – on their own native title lands.
EWP is a true success story in the Pilbara and other Indigenous business are also provided with support by Hancock, including dedicated Indigenous business development and mentoring personnel to assist in creating new businesses, as well as support with tendering and securing work. We provide business coaches and support for planning and establishing the systems required to work with Hancock Prospecting to grow success.
Roy Hill has been the naming partner of the Indigenous Emerging Business Forum (IEBF) since 2021 and Atlas Iron is also an important partner. The IEBF is a leading business development and employment forum that connects Indigenous businesses with mining and other industries. The highly successful event is being taken to the Pilbara with a new annual forum in Karratha to support businesses unable to travel to Perth.
Hancock Prospecting is also committed to ensuring development of Indigenous businesses and Indigenous employment opportunities in the wider economy. This is demonstrated not only across Hancock Prospecting, but through our encouragement of supplier partners, contractors and our Foundation and philanthropy partners to support and grow Indigenous businesses. Hancock is implementing this model as widely as we can through our supply chain.
The foundation of our Indigenous partnerships is a connection to the communities in which we operate, and have operated throughout our history. In 2022 Hancock launched the Hanrine Futures Indigenous Scholarship Program, with ten students awarded scholarships in the first intake. The scholarships provide education, work experience and training to young people from Traditional Owner groups that begins when the students enter the program and continues through to employment. The program is run in partnership with Indigenous education not-for-profit, Mandalah.
The Roy Hill Community Foundation, funded by Hancock and other like-minded companies, provides a host of innovative programs across the Pilbara. The Pilbara Faces Program is one such example, where a partnership with the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation and direct funding supported the development of facial recognition technology that is helping identify rare diseases in Indigenous children in the Pilbara.
At Hancock, we consider the Pilbara our home, we have been there longer than any other iron ore miner and have an understanding of working with Traditional Owners that can only be gained from a shared history over many decades. We’re proud of the work we do and are committed to our actions reflecting the community values in which we operate and support.
For more information related to Hancock Prospecting’s Indigenous Engagement in mining through our operating businesses please visit:
Click here to see more information on our innovation in Operational Activities