Indigenous Njamal family lands Pilbara Minerals transport contract with NPJV

Troy Eaton and wife Denise Smith (left, middle) stand in front of their fleet with NPJV general manager Scott Dryland.

NPJV, a joint venture between Njamal Services and Pilbara Resource Group, has partnered with Njamal traditional owners to provide bus services for Pilbara Minerals workers at the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum mine in Western Australia.

The Njamal family, whose land reaches east of South Hedland out to Wandanya, will transport workers from offsite accomodation to the Pilbara Minerals mine site and from the airport to the worker’s village through its family-run transport company Bithari, headed by Doris Eaton, her son Troy Eaton and his wife Denise Smith. Bithari will employ a predominant Indigenous workforce of up to 12 workers.

NPJV managing director Scott Dryland will also take on the role as general manager of Bithari to ensure the company’s long-term sustainability. He said that NPJV would continuously train workers across a range of disciplines, stating that the company would break up “the large mining and maintenance contracts into small, bite-size pieces” and help “Njamal families set up business to service the parts of the contract that might otherwise go to multinational companies”.

NPJV aided the family in organising its contract — worth over $250,000 — and also assisted them with medicals and mine site training, while also ensuring Bithari was compliant with all requisite licences and regulations.

Troy Eaton said he looked forward to using his experience and knowledge to help provide jobs for local people:

“It will be good to see Pilbara Minerals providing Indigenous businesses with genuine opportunities,” he said. “The backing and guidance we got from NPJV was what helped us get the contract over the line.”

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