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Junior iron ore developer Flinders Mines has secured a native title deal with traditional owners in the Pilbara that will allow the company to obtain a mining lease.
The company said it had signed an agreement with the Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation for its Pilbara Iron Ore Project 70 kilometres north of Tom Price.
Flinders said the agreement followed 12 months of negotiations and reflected a "strong relationship" between Indigenous people and the company.
In a statement Easter Guruma spokesperson Sue Boyd said the deal was a "significant milestone" for traditional owners.
"It recognizes the Easter Guruma People as stakeholders in a major resource initiative that is set to deliver significant economic benefits to the local region, the state of Western Australia, and to the nation itself," she said.
Boyd said the deal had "been handled with sensitivity" and with respect for the cultural heritage and value of the region.
Flinders Mines managing director Gary Sutherland said the deal provided training and job opportunities and also preserved cultural heritage.
The company’s Pilbara project is adjacent to Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon project, which has been under long and often troubled native title negotiations.
The Solomon project has been the subject of numerous court battles and ugly clashes between FMG and some members of the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation.