BHP has awarded the largest single contract through its Local Buying Program to a Pilbara Aboriginal Traditional Owner business, Gumala Enterprises.
The landmark contract at the Yandi iron ore site will create around 20 jobs and include a high Aboriginal employment.
Gumala Enterprises is wholly owned by Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, which represents the Banjima, Nyiyaparli and Yinhawangka people, based in Tom Price.
Contract awards via the Local Buying Program for Western Australia are valued at less than $US2 million ($2.9 million) and receive a 21-day payment term instead of the 15 days average at present.
BHP’s Local Buying Program allows small, local eligible businesses and Pilbara Aboriginal businesses to engage with the iron ore major for direct competitive contracting opportunities.
“Our project team identified an opportunity to ‘carve out’ a section from our larger Yandi project to create a direct opportunity for a local contractor, via the BHP Local Buying Program,” BHP superintendent projects, contracts and procurement (mines) Fintan McDermott said.
“The opportunity identified was for a local contractor to take on the sorting and stockpiling of site produced rock armour to support the construction of the flood protection bunds.”
BHP holds a major interest (85 per cent) in the Yandi joint venture project, with Mitsui and Itochu owning the remaining 15 per cent. The operation produces high-grade hematite lump and fines products.
“It’s fantastic to see Aboriginal Traditional Owner businesses working on their country and we hope to see many more opportunities like these across our sites,” BHP head of strategy, community and planning Phil Jefferys concluded.