Traditional owners in the Northern Territory say they’re frustrated by the slow pace of negotiations with mining giant Glencore on how to protect sacred sites.
The sites are near the McArthur River Mine – the world’s largest lead and zinc mine.
The mine has been the source of ongoing environmental issues, including an 80 metre waste rock dump which has emitted toxic smoke and sparked fears about contamination of the river.
The NT’s sacred sites watchdog has refused permission for Glencore to expand the mine because of the issue.
As a result Glencore has been seeking to establish an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with traditional owners to come up with a plan to protect sacred sites and provide compensation for damage caused.
The deal was being brokered by the Northern Land Council but some traditional owners, frustrated by a lack of progress after two years, have formed a new corporation to try to speed up the process.
Borroloola community leader Maria Pyro told the ABC her community deserves more.