Aztec Resources Limited
24 April 2006
Aztec Resources Limited ('Aztec' or 'the Company')
24 April 2006
Set out below is a joint media release made on 23 April 2006 by Aztec and the
Kimberly Land Council. For further information contact:
Ian Burston, Chairman +61 8 9423 0800
Peter Bilbe, Managing Director +61 8 9423 0800
Fiona Owen, Grant Thornton +44 (0) 870 991 2318
23 APRIL 2006 at 11:45am
Joint Media Release
TRADITIONAL OWNERS APPROVE REBIRTH
OF HISTORIC KOOLAN ISLAND IRON ORE PROJECT
Koolan Island, one of Australia's most historic iron ore mines, is set for a
rebirth following the successful completion of a co-existence agreement between
mining company Aztec Resources Limited (ASX:AZR) and the Dambimangari
The Dambima-Ngardi people, the Native Tile Claimants to Koolan Island, and the
Board of Aztec Resources Limited today held a signing ceremony to mark the
signing of the Koolan Island Co-existence Deed.
Attended by 50 traditional owners, the Hon. Sheila McHale, MLA, Minister for
Indigenous Affairs, local member Carol Martin MLA, Aztec representatives, the
Kimberley Land Council, and guests, the signing ceremony was held on Koolan
Island, 130 kms north of Derby.
The agreement has been negotiated by the Dambima-Ngardi people and Aztec
representatives over a very short timeframe. The traditional owners were
represented in the negotiations by their Native Title Representative Body, the
Kimberley Land Council.
The agreement allows Aztec to proceed to construction to meet its goal of
shipping the first ore by the end of this year.
The agreement will provide a range of outcomes for the traditional owners,
including employment and new business opportunities.
Dambima-Ngardi spokesperson Janet Oobagooma said Aztec's commitment to training
and employment opportunities for indigenous people from the Derby region was a
key point in successfully concluding the negotiations.
'Working in partnership with Aztec, the Dambima-Ngardi people aim to have 30 per
cent of the 220 person workforce filled by indigenous people by the eighth year
of operation. We are confident that this goal can be achieved, following the
trust that we have built with Aztec over the past two years,' said Ms Oobagooma.
'I congratulate Aztec Resources for the way the agreement was negotiated. We
have had open talks and many meetings with Aztec Chairman Ian Burston and
company representatives. I also want to thank the Kimberley Land Council for
The Kimberley Land Council said the positive approach from all parties was an
important factor in ensuring the agreement was reached within a limited
'This is a positive outcome, one we're proud of, conducted in the spirit of open
and honest negotiation,' said Ian Burston Chairman of Aztec Resources.
'Aztec's commitment to the Koolan Island Co-existence Deed is a whole-of-company
approach, and will extend to contractors involved in the rebirth of the Koolan
Island Iron Ore Mine.
'We welcome this agreement and look forward to building our relationship with
the traditional owners and other indigenous people in Derby and the surrounding
'In a tight labour market, it's important for industry and Government to work
together to improve the skills of local people, rather than simply looking
offshore to fill these positions.
'Aztec will quickly turn its focus to commencing the piling of the jetty and
work towards building a camp to allow construction to commence as a matter of
priority,' Mr Burston concluded.
The first of three shipments of piling material for the product delivery jetty
is due on Koolan Island by the end of April.
- ENDS -
About the Dambima-Ngardi People
The Dambima-Ngardi people, together with people from the adjacent Wanjina
Wunggurr Wilinggin and Wanjina Wunggurr Uunguu groups, share a single
distinctive body of law and customs based on the belief systems of the Wanjina
and the Wunggurr. The Wanjina and Gwion Gwion (sometimes called Bradshaw) rock
paintings throughout the region are part of this system, which governs the
relationships of people to country and to each other. The Wanjina paintings are
said to be the ancestors of the living people.
Although at times displaced from their traditional lands, Dambima-Ngardi people
continue to renew the Wanjina spirit through artworks produced for themselves
and for the wider world (such as the Wanjina image created by Dambima-Ngardi
elder Donny Woolagoodja for the 2000 Sydney Olympics).
There are more then two hundred people in the Dambima-Ngardi community,
including a mix of old and young. Many were displaced from their Traditional
lands to Derby and nearby Mowanjum in the early parts of last century, partly
through missionary efforts to 'civilize' them. Yet they have maintained strong
links to their traditional country and practices.
About Aztec Resources Limited
Aztec (ASX: AZR) is the owner of the Koolan Island high quality iron ore project
which has a resource of 53 million tonnes. In August 2005, Aztec announced the
successful completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study. Capital costs of A$108
million, inclusive of mine development costs support a forecast annual
production of approximately 4 million tonnes per annum and Memoranda of
Understanding account for total sales of 4 million tonnes per annum, for the
current mine life of initial nine years with ongoing exploration drilling
expected to provide potential upside for the project.
In 2000, Aztec was granted an exploration lease of the previously BHP-owned and
operated Koolan Island project, located 130 kilometres north of Derby off the
West Australian Kimberley coast. Koolan Island has remnant resources and
previously produced 68 million tonnes of high grade (Fe @ 67%) and low impurity
Editor's note: Photographs and footage of the signing ceremony are available
For further information, please contact:
Community Relations Officer
Kimberley Land Council
+61 (0) 8 9193 6199
0417 901 722
Ian Burston Warrick Hazeldine
Chairman - Aztec Resources Purple Communications
+61 (0) 8 9423 0800 0417 944 616
+61 (0) 8 9485 1254
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange