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Respecting heritage and culture

Our commitment to preserve and promote Indigenous history and culture is embedded in our approach to operating sustainably and responsibly. 

 We work in partnership with the First Nations peoples of the land where our projects are located to ensure sites of cultural significance are identified and managed.

We respect and acknowledge the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the human rights principles it embodies, including the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent. In alignment with the principles of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), we work to obtain the consent of First Nations peoples for activities located on their traditional lands, with consent processes focusing on reaching agreement on the basis upon which a project should proceed, as well as ensuring access to appropriate grievance and dispute resolution processes.

Preserving First Nations heritage

We have strong relationships with the First Nations people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia, which are built on open and transparent engagement, mutual respect and the development of comprehensive native title agreements.

We have dedicated Heritage, Native Title and Community teams that work hand in hand with our First Nations people to ensure First Nations heritage is managed sustainably and responsibly.


Native Title Partners

Fortescue is party to seven major native title agreements with native title groups in the Pilbara region, three of which are underpinned by registered Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA):

  • Kariyarra (ILUA and Land Access Agreement)
  • Palyku (ILUA and Land Access Agreement) 
  • Nyiyaparli (ILUA and Land Access Agreement)
  • Nyamal (Project Area Agreement)
  • Martu Idja Banyjima (Land Access Agreement)
  • Eastern Guruma (Land Access Agreement)
  • Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) (Land Access Agreement).

We are committed to working closely with our native title partner groups to update existing agreements and to negotiate new ILUAs.

Our native title agreements include principles and detailed processes for the identification, management and protection of significant First Nations cultural heritage. They also provide significant and sustainable outcomes for the relevant communities through a range of benefits, including financial compensation, vocational training and employment opportunities, and commercial contracting opportunities.

Respecting local culture

Respecting local culture is central to our principles and part of our Value of integrity. It is an essential aspect of our operations in the Pilbara since we were established in 2003. As we expand into new countries and territories, it is important that our culture and Values are upheld and that this respect is reflected in all that we do wherever we are.

We will work together with First Nations peoples to manage Indigenous heritage responsibly and sustainably. We will focus on actively communicating with all stakeholders, including our local communities, and seek to secure the consent of First Nations peoples for any mineral exploration or development on their traditional lands. In FY23, we undertook archaeological heritage surveys for projects outside of Australia, including in Kazakhstan and Portugal.