Indigenous Engagement

Respecting indigenous cultural heritage


We respect the history of our land and Indigenous Australians, the traditional custodians of the land in NSW.

It is our responsibility to properly manage Indigenous cultural heritage matters in areas where there is exploration or mining and our industry takes that responsibility very seriously.

There are many good examples of long-term relationships between the NSW minerals industry and Indigenous communities. Our industry works closely with communities who provide important cultural and heritage information in given areas so that a full picture of the values and history is understood, and appropriate responses identified before any mining can commence.

For example, Glencore has established a number of cultural heritage conservation areas including the Yorks Creek Conservation Area in the NSW Hunter Valley.

The Yorks Creek Voluntary Conservation Area, which commenced in 1994, was the first voluntary conservation agreement in the Hunter Valley formalising the protection of significant Aboriginal sites.

The area covers 28.5 hectares along Yorks Creek adjacent to Glencore’s Mt Owen mine and contains artefact scatters and open camps sites and hearths.

The local Aboriginal community has access to the site, which provides a significant area where learning about Aboriginal culture can take place.

The area has been fenced off from grazing stock and soil conservation works and substantial tree planting has been undertaken to protect eroding areas.

Indigenous employment

NSW Minerals Council and our members work continuously alongside Indigenous Community groups to help close the employment gap and support Aboriginal-owned businesses.

We are proud partners of the Clontarf Foundation, supporting young Indigenous men through mentoring and training to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.

Individual mining operations across NSW are making a commitment to supporting the skills and employment prospects of Aboriginal communities, often through developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Examples of our member companies commitment to supporting Indigenous Australians can be found below.

Along with our member companies, we also provide career support and guidance to Indigenous Australians in the mining and construction industries and work closely with Indigenous communities in our areas of operation.

Supplying businesses supporting Indigenous workers

The mining industry also works closely with local businesses, like Steven Fordham of Blackrock Industries, demonstrating what can be achieved to provide employment opportunities, particularly to Indigenous Australians.

Blackrock Industries has a workforce that includes 70 percent Aboriginal Australians, 30 per cent women and has a program that employs inmates from the local jail to help them back into employment and to re-join the community after they have served their time.

CEO Steven Fordham is bringing Indigenous Australians into his business, providing employment, career support and guidance to those working in mining and construction. The company contracts workers to MACH Energy Australia and Thiess among other NSW Minerals Council member companies.

Protection of Aboriginal Objects

You can download the NSW Minerals Industry Due Diligence Code of Practice for the Protection of Aboriginal Objects here.