The Federal Court has been hearing about the “devastation and destruction” a mining company has had on Yindjibarndi country.

The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) is seeking compensation from Fortescue Mining Group (FMG) over “economic and cultural loss” due to the company’s iron ore projects in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

YAC is looking to receive $500 million a year from FMG and gave evidence at a local court in Roebourne this week, with more hearings expected to be held in the mining area of Bangkangarra next week.

Vance Hughston SC is representing YAC and told the court the impact FMG’s operations have had on country.

“There is a massive iron ore mine on their country which has caused devastation, destruction and damage to their country, including many significant sites.

There are 249 Aboriginal sites the respondent sought permission from the relevant state ministers to damage or destroy.

And those applications were granted … including rock art shelters which demonstrated continuous human habitation for over 35,000 years. They’re gone.”