Mining millions to lift traditional Aboriginal landowners out of ‘poverty’, says Ngadju elder – by Jarrod Lucas (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – September 17, 2017)

Twenty-five years since the High Court’s landmark Mabo decision, traditional landowners in one of Western Australia’s biggest mining regions are finally starting to see the benefits of native title.

The resources wealth of WA’s Goldfields, which generates a gross regional product of more than $6 billion for the state, has not stemmed the ongoing social issues that prompted a widespread trial of the Federal Government’s cashless welfare card.

But Aboriginal leaders are optimistic the start-up of two major mining operations will improve the lives of Indigenous Australians living in poverty while creating life-changing education and job opportunities for young people. The $456 million Nova nickel-copper mine, which was officially opened this month by WA Mines Minister Bill Johnston, is expected to deliver more than $20 million in native title royalties for the Ngadju people over the next decade.

Miner makes new home on WA’s Fraser Range

Nova, 360 kilometres south-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder on the edge of the Nullarbor, is the first mine in the emerging Fraser Range province. The land falls within the Ngadju native title claim, which was recognised by the High Court in 2014.

Coolgardie-based Ngadju elder Ricky Dimer said Nova’s owners, ASX-listed Independence Group, would pay instalments to a corporate body over the life of the mine, which will be used to fund education and training scholarships.

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