A contract for drill pad preparation for BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s exploration sites in the Yandi area has been awarded to Indigenous company, Carey Bilyulu.
The venture teams up local people from the Martu Idja Banjima (MIB) native title claimant group with Carey Mining, a successful Indigenous mining contractor.
It’s a great win-win story for both parties. James Shaw, Vice President Technical Services, explains: “For Carey Bilyulu, the contract provides a local source of employment for Indigenous people to work on their traditional lands.
For Iron Ore, this provides a great opportunity to develop Indigenous contracting companies and to increase Indigenous employment in the business.”
It’s taken a combined and committed effort by a number of people from the Indigenous Contract Steering Committee, REG, Legal, Commercial, Supply and Risk to make this happen.
Katrina DeCourcy from Supply (Indigenous Contracting) explains: “We were aware of Carey Mining and investigated their potential to undertake this work.
In accordance with the Indigenous Contracting Guidelines we undertook significant independent financial due diligence, as well as internal due diligence that included a visit to their operations at Sunrise Dam.
The Carey Bilyulu team visited Yandi to fully assess, understand and plan for site conditions.
The visits also fostered relationships between their employees and the REG team.
At the time of the due diligence, Carey Mining and MIB were negotiating to form the new Carey Bilyulu company.
We provided considerable assistance in terms of independent financial advice and due diligence so that both parties to the joint venture plus BHP Billiton could be assured the new company would be a sustainable operation.”
REG Superintendents Steve Harrison (Yandi) and Chris Davies (Contracts) were also very involved.
Chris tells us: “Despite Carey Bilyulu being a brand new venture, we are 100 per cent committed to making this project a success, as are the Carey Bilyulu team. This is an important and significant project we all want to see it work”.
Steve outlines the significance of working with the traditional owners: “The opportunity to work with the traditional owners on their country will not only help us preserve their heritage, but will also help us gain an appreciation of their culture. This will help the REG team at Yandi to recognise areas of significance during the course of their normal field work and to assist in protecting these areas.”
Steve has been busy ensuring a smooth start to the project at Yandi.
Daniel Tucker, Chairman Carey Bilyulu, speaks highly of our efforts: “I have been working in the mining industry for over 27 years and operating our business for over 13 years, as well as being involved with other private and public businesses.
“From my experience, [BHP Billiton’s] Indigenous Contracting Guidelines are one of the best mechanisms that aim to develop and deliver Indigenous business outcomes. The process is commercial, the BHP Billiton people are committed and opportunities are being identified and explored.”
For more information, please contact James Shaw or Katrina DeCourcy.
*By Sue Griffin, Communications Specialist, Technical Services and Integrated Planning, BHP Billiton. This article was first published in Oresome (September 2007, Volume 017) — an internal company publication published by BHP Billiton Iron Ore.