South32 signs indigenous land access agreement

South32’s Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO) has secured a land access agreement to mine in the Eastern Leases and begin exploration in the island’s Southern Areas.

The agreement was signed yesterday at a special ceremony with the Traditional Owners of Groote Eylandt and the Anindilyakwa Land Council.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ricus Grimbeek, South32 president and COO Australia, said the company acknowledged the positive way in which the negotiations were completed and valued their relationship with the Groote Eylandt community.

“I would like to thank the Traditional Owners and the Anindilyakwa Land Council who have put their trust in us to continue exploring and mining in their land,” Grimbeek said.

“We have enjoyed working together for more than 50 years and look forward to being a valued member of the community for many more to come.”

Grimbeek went on to say the agreement will add to their strategy of unlocking their existing operation’s potential through converting high value resource into reserve and finding new areas with exploration potential.

“Gaining access to the Eastern Leases allows us to mine new areas within our current operating area. Access to the large South Areas will substantially increase our exploration footprint at GEMCO, which is one of the largest and lowest cost manganese producers in the world.”

This comes after South32’s announcement of a global restructure, cutting jobs worldwide.

In June, they announced around 150 job cuts in Australia, with the majority of losses in to occur in Perth.

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