BHP has begun looking into a rock fall at a registered Banjima site, which the miner first identified in late January while monitoring its Mining Area C in Australia’s Pilbara region.
BHP and the Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation – the prescribed body corporate for the Banjima People – have begun work on a joint investigation to determine the cause of the rock fall and ensure any lessons are identified. Last month, BHP officials met with Banjima’s South Flank Heritage Advisory Council to discuss the incident and move the probe forward.
In a joint statement, Maitland Parker, who serves as BNTAC chair and Banjima Elder, said that the Heritage Council was convened to ensure open lines of communication between both parties.
“BNTAC and our Heritage Council, alongside BHP, will continue this investigation to ascertain the exact causes of the impact on the site,” Parker added.
BHP President Minerals Australia Edgar Basto said that its ties with the Banjima people are “critically important’ to the company.
“Over many years we have built a strong relationship with the Banjima based on deep respect for their heritage and their connection to country. We have personally expressed our concern to Banjima Elders and commenced a joint investigation. We will continue to work with the Banjima in a spirit of respect and cooperation. We regard all Banjima heritage as important and we will learn from the outcomes of the investigation.”
The heritage site was first recorded in 2005 with the Traditional owners of the land, the Banjima. According to a previous BHP statement, the site does not contain rock art or archaeological deposits, and could not be dated.