Rio Tinto’s workforce of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people at its Cape York Peninsula bauxite sites in Queensland has now reached 574 people, the mining company confirmed last week.
The numbers include workers at Rio Tinto’s $2.6 billion Amrun project, and Weipa Operations’ East Weipa and Andoom mines, acting on Rio’s remit to increase employment opportunities for Aboriginal people; the company has signed three land use agreements with 12 Traditional Land Owner groups in the region encompassing Cape York.
Daniel van der Westhuizen, Weipa Operations General Manager at Rio Tinto, said that mine operators were cogent to traditional land rights, and that the company wished to ensure sustainable community development, with opportunities for STEM activities, apprenticeships and school-based traineeships in place at the sites in order to increase Indigenous employment and improve employee retention.
“Rio Tinto is dedicated to working in partnership with our signatory Traditional Owner Groups and communities in Aurukun, Napranum, Mapoon and Northern Perninsula Area to collectively provide employment opportunities for local Aboriginal people,” he explained.
“The agreement underpins the relationship with Rio Tinto to achieve this and other key aspirations,” added Geoffrey Fahey of the Western Cape Communities Trust.
“As such we work closely with Rio Tinto in a spirit of togetherness to develop as many employment opportunities as possible.”