Protecting Cultural Heritage
Bravus Mining and Resources respects and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Carmichael mine and supporting infrastructure is located – the Juru, Birriah, Jangga and Clermont and Belyando (formerly Wangan and Jagalingou) people.
Our business is committed to creating sustainable employment and economic opportunities for First Nations communities. We seek to collaborate and consult in order to develop practical solutions that meet genuine needs.
Bravus Mining and Resources is proud that we are achieving our ambitious targets for First Nations participation and the protection of human and cultural rights. As well, we continue to meet legislative requirements as required under the strict regulatory frameworks of the Queensland and Australian governments.
We work with our Traditional Owners under the guidance of formal agreements and legally binding plans. In doing so we respect the rights, history, future intentions, and requests of First Nations people.
Our Indigenous Land Use Agreements, Cultural Heritage Management Plans and our Indigenous Participation Plan - as well as our human rights protection strategies - support opportunities for skills and business development, training and employment. These formal agreements have been in place since 2014 and are building multigenerational benefits for our Traditional Owners.
Protecting Cultural Heritage
The Queensland Cultural Heritage Acts define Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage as anything that is:
- a significant Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander area in Queensland, or
- a significant Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander object in Queensland, or;
- evidence of archaeological or historic significance, of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander occupation of an area of Queensland.
An area or object is significant because of either or both of the following:
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander tradition
- the history, including contemporary history, of any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander party for the area.
A Cultural Heritage Committee comprised of Traditional Owner Elders oversees and approves all works across our operations. We do this as a requirement of our Cultural Heritage Management Plan, which is part of the ILUAs and other relevant government legislation, and to ensure we collaborate continually with our Traditional Owners.
Cultural heritage works and clearances at the Carmichael mine site are undertaken by Traditional Owners who are appointed by the Cultural Heritage Committee. No land is disturbed on the mine without the approval of the Cultural Heritage Committee. We have, and will continue to, work in partnership with Traditional Owners to deliver future benefits.
All cultural heritage data collected at the Carmichael mine is owned by the Clermont and Belyando (W&J) People, not Bravus Mining and resources.
Cultural Heritage Management Methodology
As part of our cultural heritage duty of care, no land is disturbed at the Carmichael mine and supporting infrastructure without the robust cultural heritage management process being followed.
The ILUA between the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) People and Bravus Mining and Resources sets out the requirement for a Cultural Heritage Committee.
The Committee composition and proceedings are detailed in the ILUA and the Committee is comprised of six Traditional Owners and two Bravus Mining and Resources employees. The Chair of the Committee is a proud Clermont and Belyando elder. The Committee meets multiple times a year in person.
The table below outlines the steps that are followed for each area where work for either infrastructure development, accommodation or mining is planned.
Using best practice digital mapping systems to ensure Cultural Heritage protection
Geographic information systems (GIS) are used widely in our operations for planning, operations and day-to-day activities. All cultural heritage information is recorded, mapped and communicated to ensure the protection of cultural heritage.
Permanent cultural heritage exclusion zones are mapped in black.
Traditional Owners have deemed the areas to be culturally significant and all disturbance of and access to the areas is prohibited.
Temporary cultural exclusion zones.
Disturbance of and access to these areas is prohibited until the Cultural Heritage Management Plan procedures have been agreed.
Approved for disturbance of and access
Disturbance of and access as per the Cultural Heritage Management Plan procedures
Cultural Heritage Field Officers are required to monitor any disturbances of and access to the areas.
Cultural Heritage Field Officers must inspect after disturbance of or access to the areas has occurred.
Agreements and Plans
Traditional Owner support for the Carmichael mine
Free, prior and informed consent
We work with our Traditional Owners under the guidance of formal agreements and plans so that we respect the rights, history, future intention and request of First Nations People.
An Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) is a voluntary agreement between native title parties and other people or groups about the use and management of areas of land and/or waters.
An ILUA can be about any native title matter agreed by the parties, including settlement or exercise of native title rights and interests, surrender of native title to governments, land management, future development, mining, cultural heritage, coexistence of native title rights with other rights, access to an area, and compensation for loss or impairment of native title.
While registered, ILUAs bind all native title holders to the terms of the agreement. ILUAs also operate as a contract between the parties.
Bravus Mining and Resources – under the previous name Adani Mining – voluntarily entered into legally binding ILUAs with three groups of native title applicants whose lands are associated with the Carmichael mine. We have always and continue to respect the rights, history, future intentions, and requests of First Nations people. These agreements were entered into before the mine’s construction.
There are three ILUAs with the central Queensland First Nations people:
- Birriah People
- Jangga People
- Wangan & Jagalingou People (part of the Clermont and Belyando applicant group)
Our sister businesses also have an ILUA with the Juru people who are the Traditional Owners for the area surrounding Bowen in north Queensland.
There has been overwhelming free and informed support for the ILUAs from local Traditional Owners. For example, in the formal vote from the Clermont and Belyando People, 294 strongly supported the ILUA with Bravus Mining and Resources (formerly Adani Mining). There was just one dissenting vote. Under Australian laws, a legitimate ILUA requires a majority and not a unanimous vote.
The ILUAs Bravus Mining and Resources has signed have been registered with the Native Title Registrar. They are publicly available. These agreements can be found through the National Native Title Tribunal search register of ILUA.
Importantly, the agreements outline the governance processes to ensure First Nations’ people lead the management of cultural heritage at our operations. This also complies with the Queensland Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act.
We respect the rights, history, future intention and request of First Nations People.
Native title in Australia, legal requirements for Traditional Ownership
Bravus Mining and Resources respects the environment in which we operate. At the Carmichael mine, we operate in accordance with some of the strictest social and environmental conditions ever imposed on a mining project in Australia.
We obtained more than 100 approvals for the mine at both state and federal levels, and fulfilled the requirements of the Native Title Act to ensure First Nations people were central to mine planning, construction and operations.
What is native title?
Native title is the Australian law that underpins the Traditional Ownership of land and waters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people according to their traditions, laws, and customs. Native title is only held over areas where a ‘continuing connection’ with the lands or waters can be demonstrated. There is a legislated process that is governed by the Native Title Act and managed by the National Native Title Tribunal.
Applications are made under section 63 of the Native Title Act for a determination or decision about native title in a particular area. Once an application is filed with the Federal Court, a copy of the application is given to the Native Title Registrar. Claimants must apply the registration test to their claim.
By making a claimant application, the claim group seek a decision that native title exists, so their rights and interests are recognised by the common law of Australia. This is called a native title determination.
A determination is a decision by a recognised body, such as the Federal Court or High Court of Australia, that native title either does or does not exist in relation to a particular area.
Our Indigenous Participation Plan
Our Indigenous Participation Plan (IPP) sets out Bravus Mining and Resources’ commitments to a series of affirmative approaches. These have the combined objective to improve First Nations outcomes in education, training, employment and business participation, both in the immediate and longer-term. We maintain an integrated policy and procedure system in consultation with key contractors.
Following collaboration with our Traditional Owners, we developed the IPP, ILUA and Cultural Heritage Management Plans to support their aspirations.
We aim to create multigenerational benefits for our Traditional Owner groups through sustainable employment, skills and training, and other economic and cultural opportunities, while ensuring their rights, history, future intentions and requests.
Bravus Mining and Resources’ key contractors have come on board and proactively manage Indigenous Engagement and Trainee Plans (IEP) in line with operational and maintenance contract requirements.
The implementation of our key contractor IEPs detail engagement strategies, processes, cultural awareness, training, mentoring and project specific key performance indicators. Part of our own IPP success is the close partnerships we have with our key contractors.
The Carmichael mine provides new business opportunities as well as support for education, employment and training to Traditional Owners through:
- A minimum $250 million Indigenous Business Development and Contracting Commitment
- A minimum commitment of $7.5 million in Indigenous Educational Bursaries / Pre-Employment Programs
- A minimum 10% Indigenous Trainee Target
- A minimum 7.5% Indigenous Employment Target
- A best practice Indigenous Cultural Heritage and Environmental Management Commitment.
Traineeships to kickstart careers in mining
Bravus Mining and Resources and contractor partner DRA Global have developed a partnership to recruit and train First Nations Australians for roles in mining operations.
People from Traditional Owner groups are prioritised for the two-year traineeship program. This offers practical job skills at the Carmichael Coal Handling and Preparation Plant facility, where the high-quality central Queensland thermal coal is crushed, washed, and prepared for export.
The program includes experience in roles such as a Coal Handling and Preparation Plant Operator, Site Administrator and Site Health, and Safety and Environment Administrator. Find out more about the traineeship program here.
Partnering with First Nations businesses
Woongal Environmental Services
Woongal Environmental Services is a Wangan and Jagalingou -certified and Supply Nation Registered business, that has worked in partnership with Bravus Mining and Resources since 2018.
The central Queensland-based business conducts the extensive water, land-based and nature monitoring to meet the obligations of Bravus Mining and Resources’ 112 Queensland and Australian government approvals.
The success of the partnership has been demonstrated by positive environmental outcomes onsite, including industry-leading groundwater monitoring and unprecedented research into the endangered Black-throated Finch.
Initially, the contracted services were for environmental monitoring and surveying services across the mining lease and in the Doongmabulla Springs area. This is an area of cultural and environmental significance that requires specific management under our approvals, and our own groundwater management and monitoring plans.
For the last three years, Woongal has also monitored and reported on the environmental impacts in environmental offset areas and conservation zones within the Bravus Mining and Resources lease area. The 33,000-hectare zone - more than 120 times the size of the mining area - is a habitat for the endangered Black-throated Finch.
Woongal has also expanded its services to Bravus Mining and Resources to include fauna spotting and catching. This supports the safety of local fauna in the event of land disturbances. Other programs conducted by Woongal include erosion and sedimentation control, weed and pest management, fencing, research into groundwater-dependent ecosystems, and road and track maintenance. These monitoring and management services are critical to allow Bravus Mining and Resources to assess any potential impacts to groundwater or land ecosystems, and mitigate any impacts.
Woongal is chaired by Gooreng descendant of the Port Curtis Coral Coast Nation, Tony Johnson. The partnership means Bravus Mining and Resources receives the scientific and environmental expertise required to deliver on its environmental management plans, while benefiting from the cultural knowledge of the Traditional Owners.
Our inclusive culture
At Bravus Mining and Resources, we aim to be an employer of choice, especially for First Nations people. A key part of this is creating a workplace that is diverse, inclusive and safe. We strive to build a welcoming workplace that values all people, regardless of their background. We are meeting and exceeding our ambitious employment targets for Indigenous jobs and opportunities.
Here are the stories of some of our First Nations people.
Proud Kuungkari man Travis has worked on the Carmichael Coal Handling and Preparation Plant project as a painter and electrical trades assistant with Mackay-based G&S Engineering Services.
He said the camaraderie amongst the team, including those who had worked around the world on mining and infrastructure projects, was the best part of the job.
Travis said there were many ways to get involved and skill up. “There are a lot of opportunities for young Indigenous kids and people,” he said. “Make sure you set a goal. For me, it was about setting a goal and climbing that ladder, getting higher positions and into positions with tickets."
After a career in health and education, Lorraine worked for 10 years to get into the mining industry.
She finally succeeded with Bravus Mining and Resources. When an opportunity came up for a systems and mining traineeship, that was her “foot in the door”.
Now she spends her work days driving a CAT haul truck. “There’s no stress, I don’t have to sit in front of a computer,” she said. “I love driving.” She said conditions were great, with everything provided onsite meaning she didn’t have to cook, and flew into work.
As a Leading Hand for MacKellar Group, Bwgcolman man Gary supervises the workshop servicing the Carmichael mine.
Together with the team, they maintain the heavy machinery and equipment around the mine, such as dozers, haul trucks, water trucks and diggers. It is this team aspect that Gary, originally from Palm Island, finds most satisfying. “My favourite thing is people, different skills and trying to mix that in with the machines and how they work,” he said. “If you get an opportunity grab it. Get hands on.”
Celebrating NAIDOC week
Each year, we celebrate NAIDOC Week to recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Wangan and Jagalingou Applicant Elder Patrick Malone visited the Carmichael mine site in 2023 to celebrate NAIDOC Week.
He told mine workers the ILUA was crafted as a “life-changing agreement, not just for us but for generations to come”. “It’s good that the workers out here know that there are Traditional Owners out here and that we want to particulate in what is going on,” he said.
Bravus Mining and Resources is a member of the Minerals Council of Australia and the MCA’s best practice policy on indigenous partnerships informs the way we operate at Carmichael.
For more information about the Minerals Council of Australia’s Industry Statement on First Nationals Partnerships and Indigenous Partnerships, head to: