Open Letter to RTIO Employees

As Chairman of the PKKP Aboriginal Corporation, I wanted to communicate directly with you about the work our Corporation and Rio Tinto are doing together on development of a co-management of mining agreement for the company’s operations on Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura lands.

We feel it is important that Rio Tinto employees hear directly from the PKKP people about co-management, how it would work and why it is important to us and the preservation of our Country.

At the PKKP Aboriginal Corporation we see co-management as the way to build relationships between our organizations based on mutual trust.

For us co-management isn’t complicated. The principle is simple — we will work with the mining company to protect our country and culture and give us an equal say in what happens on our Country. Through this process we will provide Rio Tinto with a social license to operate on PKKP country.

Our Corporation is not against mining on our lands but it needs to be done respectfully and fairly. Co-Management should apply to every aspect of a mine life cycle from the planning to the closure and rehabilitation. Take planning for example, we want to sit down with you and right from the beginning, help identify the tenements or reserves that can be developed early, those that need more consideration and those that are culturally precious to us and cannot be mined.

Co-management also requires mutual obligation and shared responsibility, RIO Tinto and its employees and the PKKP people must be committed to the best outcomes for it to work successfully.

It makes clear how we both communicate and resolve differences. It gives our people a greater role, to work on the ground monitoring and engaging with you, the mining people.

We recognize this is not a one-way street. As a Corporation we would have obligations under the agreement. These include providing Rio Tinto with access to our country and a social license to mine our country under pre-approved protocols.

Co-management is what it says and the PKKP Aboriginal Corporation is committed to working together with all levels of Rio Tinto to make it happen.

Terry Drage
PKKP Aboriginal Corporation
PDF – Open Letter to RTIO Employees