Fortescue Metals Group has signed an agreement with Australian Aboriginal Mining (AAMC) to support development of a new iron ore mine in the Pilbara, Australia, owned and operated by AAMC.
Under the agreement, Fortescue will provide AAMC with access to its infrastructure, enabling AAMC to deliver up to two million tonnes a year from its projects to either Fortescue's port or rail facilities for five years.
Fortescue CEO Nev Power said: "Today's agreement underlines very clearly Fortescue's commitment to provide meaningful opportunities for Aboriginal business development and to negotiate agreements in good faith for third-parties to access rail and port infrastructure on commercial terms.
"Providing economic participation through our land access agreements, as well as the payment of native title royalties, is what drives real positive change in the communities in which we operate."
In March, Western Australia's Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) recommended the approval of the AAMC's extension mining proposal to mine iron ore in Pilbara.
Under the proposal, two to four million tonnes of iron ore would be mined each year from the channel iron deposits above the water table at the extension deposit.
EPA Chairman Dr Paul Vogel said that the mine includes construction of roads, an accommodation camp, ore crushing and processing plant, and solar drying cells, as well as a water supply system.
Vogel said: "This project will result in the clearing of up to 530ha of 'very good to excellent' condition native vegetation. For this reason, the EPA has recommended the proponent ensure construction avoids declared rare flora, Priority 1 listed flora species and threatened ecological communities."
Image: Fortescue will provide AAMC with access to its infrastructure under the agreement. Photo: courtesy of khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.