Significant milestone for Njamal traditional owners on Iron Bridge Project


Fortescue Metals Group has successfully facilitated the signing of a joint venture agreement between NRW Pty Ltd (NRW) and Njamal ICRG JV Pty Ltd in preparation for bulk earthworks at the Iron Bridge Project in Pilbara, marking a significant milestone for Aboriginal business development.

Image credit: Flickr User:  ~Liz~
Image credit: Flickr User: ~Liz~

The Iron Bridge Project is situated on the traditional lands of the Njamal People, who entered into a Project Area Agreement with Fortescue. According to the media release by Fortescue, the agreement provides the company with native title clearances over land required by the project in exchange for the Njamal People becoming co-owners and operators of a separate magnetite mine on their land.

The joint venture with a major contractor such as NRW will allow the Njamal community to develop their business skills and create job opportunities for their people.

“The Joint Venture is a significant milestone as it is the first of its kind for Njamal people. This inaugural Joint Venture provides a pathway to self-sustainability and independence through employment, training and ground breaking business opportunities. Njamal people can now participate in our mining agreements with a renewed focus, and greater parity,” said Njamal ICRG JV Director Sharon McGann.

NRW had already worked on Fortescue projects, having already delivered a $200 million joint venture project with Pilbara Traditional Owner businesses Eastern Guruma Pty Ltd and Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd (NYFL) for bulk earthworks at Fortescue’s Solomon mine.

NRW’s General Manager Mining Allan Fidock said the company was committed to providing sustainable opportunities to the people and communities in which they operate.

“NRW is delighted and very proud to be a partner in this Joint Venture with the Njamal community and ICRG. We look forward to a successful partnership and to helping the Njamal people grow a sustainable business with opportunities benefiting the whole community.”

Peter Meurs, Fortescue’s Director of Development, said: “This is such a significant opportunity for Njamal to build their business capability with an experienced contractor such as NRW. The joint venture model is effective because it is a mutually beneficial arrangement that sees both the contractor and the Aboriginal owned business bringing value to the relationship.”