Yindjibarndi retain exclusive native title rights following appeal by FMG

22nd Oct 2019

Western Australia’s Yindjibarndi people are celebrating the Federal Courts confirmation of exclusive native title rights over their land in the Pilbara.

In 2017 the Yindjirardi Aboriginal Corporation were granted exclusive native title rights over 2,700 square kilometres of Pilbara land.

Located on that land is the multi-billion dollar Solomon Hub iron ore mine, owned by Fortescue Metals Group, FMG. Late last week FMG lost its Federal Court appeal against the native title ruling.

The news is the latest development in the legal battle between FMG and the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation which spans over a number of years.

The decision means the mine was built without an agreement with the traditional owners and could result in a substantial compensation claim from the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation.

Despite the ruling FMG can still appeal to the High Court, but Michael Woodley Chief Executive Officer of the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation says his people are prepared to continue the fight if comes to that.

CAAMA Radio spoke with Michael Woodley who shares his thoughts on the Federal Court ruling.