We maintain respectful and inclusive engagement practices with Traditional Owners and Indigenous Peoples using our Global Performance Standards. Our Assets design and manage their unique stakeholder engagements, ensuring a minimum set of requirements is met while allowing for co-designed and nuanced responses to the needs and priorities of different Traditional Owner groups.
Dedicated Social Performance teams at each Asset undertake, monitor and review communication and consultation, ensuring all activities are aligned with the tenets of Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Our teams look for potential risks (threats and opportunities) relating to cultural heritage, land disturbance and human rights, and develop management plans where needed. Local level agreements protect Traditional Owners’ rights and define a partnership that prioritises local concerns. We regularly engage with our First Nations communities and provide open, timely and fit-for purpose information. We also provide a continuous feedback loop through community meetings, formal and informal communications, and social media.
Reconciliation Action Plan
We protect and respect country and culture by supporting the principles of Voice, Treaty and Truth and support the effort being made to achieve National Reconciliation. In 2019, we undertook extensive consultation with our Traditional Owners on the need to create a Company-wide Reconciliation Action Plan. We have listened to our Traditional Owners’ preference that our Partnering Agreements serve in lieu of a Reconciliation Action Plan. These agreements enshrine our commitment to work in the spirit of shared value and mutual obligation and inform how we engage and manage Native Title Mining Agreements.
Traditional Owner, local and land-connected community grievance mechanisms are embedded in local-level agreements for each of our Assets. All community concerns, complaints, disputes and grievances are recorded and addressed promptly and appropriately. Find out how our local-level agreements are made in the spirit of on ‘Free, Prior and Informed Consent’ and our grievance mechanisms at Prominent Hill, Carrapateena, West Musgrave, Carajás East, Carajás West and Gurupi.
Free, Prior and Informed Consent
We recognise the collective rights of First Nations Peoples to self-determine and make decisions about their lands and waters. This underpins our work to ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Article 32 states:
- First Nations Peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands and resources.
- There is a requirement to consult and cooperate in good faith with the Indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilisation or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.
- There should be effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact.
Our Performance Standards and Process Standards mandate respect for Free, Prior and Informed Consent while allowing our Assets to understand and acknowledge the preferences and needs of the First Nations custodians of the lands on which they work.
Both Australia and Brazil are signatories to UNDRIP and have developed systems to recognise the collective land rights of First Nations Peoples. In Australia this is through the Native Title system. In Brazil, it’s through Fundação Nacional dos Povos Indígenas (FUNAI) – the National Indian Foundation. These provide the frameworks for applying Free, Prior and Informed Consent principles across all our operations.
In Australia, native title representative bodies are organisations recognised under the Native Title Act 1993 that assist First Nations people with matters associated with their native title lands and waters. FUNAI is the Brazilian governmental protection agency for Amerindian interests and their culture. These bodies help ensure the right people are consulted, have a clear community mandate, and are qualified to engage with us.
Our Global Process Standards ensure the process is clear, appropriately resourced and fair.
What is Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)?
Two key instruments that outline the right/principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent are the:
In 2013, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) recognised the need for Free, Prior and Informed Consent with its Indigenous Peoples and Mining Position Statement.