Aboriginal heritage Pitta Pitta people

Aboriginal heritage protected in new exploration agreement

Anglo American has established a new partnership of up to five years with the Pitta Pitta Aboriginal Corporation, to assist with mining exploration in North West Queensland. The partnership goals will also protect Aboriginal Heritage.

Made on behalf of the Pitta Pitta People, the agreement recognises the expertise and knowledge of the Pitta Pitta people about their country and formalises a Cultural Heritage Duty of Care.

Anglo American was recently granted permits to explore an area of around 7,300 km² in North West Queensland, south of Mount Isa and west of Boulia. The company has also made additional applications over an area of around 3,500 km², south of Osbourne in Queensland.

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Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American’s Australian business, Tyler Mitchelson, said the agreement would see the company working closely with the Pitta Pitta People to undertake cultural heritage and associated activities as part of upcoming mineral exploration in the Boulia area.

“Anglo American is committed to respectful and enduring partnerships with Traditional Owners in the areas where we operate,” Mr Mitchelson said.

“We’re proud of our new agreement with the Pitta Pitta People, which will see us working closely together to conduct hands-on surveys of the tenement area to identify and protect any future cultural heritage finds.

“Members of Anglo American’s discovery team have also undertaken cultural heritage awareness training with the Pitta Pitta People, ensuring they learn about the significance of the area to the Pitta Pitta people, and the immense importance of sacred sites (images below).

“Our team was able to see some of the indigenous artifacts and tools close up, with hands-on demonstrations from Pitta Pitta elders on how these tools were used. Everyone was left with a deeper respect for the significance of the land and closer ties with the Pitta Pitta,” he said.

Directors of the Pitta Pitta Aboriginal Corporation, Lorna Bogdanek and Tanya Rice, said they were very proud to be working in collaboration with the team from Anglo American to protect aboriginal heritage.

“It has been a joyful and reciprocative experience sharing our cultural knowledge with the team from Anglo American,” Ms Rice said.

“We look forward to continuing our working relationship, and appreciate all efforts and respect that have been shown from the Anglo American team towards our people.”

Anglo American has commenced exploration activities in the region, including geophysical surveys using cutting-edge geoscience technology. At the end of the year, survey results will be assessed to determine future exploration plans.

Mr Mitchelson said the presence of deposits such as Mt Isa, Ernest Henry and Cannington in Northern and Western Queensland made it a logical place to explore for various styles of base metal deposits, including copper.

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