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Bellevue Gold inks native title agreement with Tjiwarl Aboriginal Corporation

Stock Markets Oct 03, 2022 10:30
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Bellevue Gold inks native title agreement with Tjiwarl Aboriginal Corporation
 
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Bellevue Gold Ltd (ASX:BGL) has reached a native title agreement with the Tjiwarl Aboriginal Corporation (Tijwarl AC), cementing an important partnership as the gold stock advances its namesake project in WA’s northeastern Goldfields.

Both parties worked together to formalise the agreement, which Bellevue says embodies “a spirit of genuine collaboration and respect” that facilitates project development.

The agreement also provides compensation for impacts on native title rights and interests, protecting heritage and country and providing opportunities for Tjiwarl people.

Ultimately, this process is important because it ensures that important cultural and heritage considerations have been included in the project’s surface design and layout.

These additions will protect sensitive areas, while a co-designed cultural heritage management plan will help manage future activities.

With the native title agreement in place, Bellevue remains on track for first production in the second half of next year.

Setting the foundation

Bellevue managing director Steve Parsons said the agreement marked a significant milestone for all the project’s stakeholders as it aligns directly with the company’s core values.

“Bellevue is absolutely delighted to formalise a native title agreement, which genuinely reflects its long-standing commitment to the interests, concerns and well-being of the Tjiwarl people,” he said.

“With this agreement in place, we have no doubt that the Bellevue Project will deliver substantial benefits for the Tjiwarl people and all stakeholders.”

Commenting on the agreement, Tjiwarl AC chairperson Brett Lewis said the corporation was pleased to reach this milestone with Bellevue.

“It has been a long process to get to where we are today. Tjiwarl native title holders worked hard to make sure culture and heritage is protected and managed the best way possible.

“This set the foundations for the negotiations between Tjiwarl AC and Bellevue to progress in a comprehensive way to achieve a really good outcome.”

Tjiwarl AC is the prescribed body corporate that holds the native title on trust on behalf of the Tjiwarl Native Title Holders.

They represent 11 families who have been recognised by the Federal Court as the holders of native title rights and interests within the Tjiwarl Determination area, covering some 13,000 square kilometres of land and waters in the northeastern Goldfields.

As such, the NTA protects and upholds cultural values at the project while maintaining a development schedule and forecast industry-leading economic outputs.

Reaching an agreement

The agreement process involved extensive community consultation and gave the opportunity for many Tjiwarl native title holders to visit country, engage with the Bellevue team and review the proposed project layouts and designs.

As part of the NTA, which provides compensation for all historical and future claims against the project tenements, Bellevue has committed to a broad range of actions as a fundamental part of its development strategy.

These include land and water management, Aboriginal heritage management, cultural awareness and access, social opportunities and development, employment and contracting opportunities and compensation.

Importantly, the NTA defines a process and pathway for ongoing active engagement with Tjiwarl AC and Tjiwarl native title holders as the project matures.

This includes options for ongoing employment and capacity building for Tjiwarl people and Tjiwarl-owned and operated businesses.

Read more on Proactive Investors AU

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Bellevue Gold inks native title agreement with Tjiwarl Aboriginal Corporation
 

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