Mining interest on Cape York is focussed on bauxite and kaolin north and south of Weipa, potential coal reserves in the Laura Basin, silica and heavy minerals in the coastal sand dunes, and gold in the Palmer River area.

Exploration has commenced for uranium in the southern Cape York area. Cape York Traditional Owners welcome the economic opportunities presented by mining where this can be done in a way that minimises harm to the environment and cultural heritage, and provides meaningful benefits to the community.  Mining can play a critical role in the welfare reform agenda by providing much needed employment and economic opportunity on Cape York.

The Cape York Regional Organisations have considerable experience with the mining industry. We were key players in negotiating the Western Cape Communities Coexistence Agreement with Rio Tinto, the Cape Flattery Silica Mine with Mitsubishi and advancing the Aurukun Bauxite Project with the Queensland Government. We are currently progressing the ground-breaking Wongai Project.

Balkanu also plays an important role in Future Acts Mining Exploration activities including through supporting potential negotiations for mining activities, business development ancillary to mining and exploration, and through the State Lands Dealings (SLD) process where Traditional Owners are making long term decisions about land tenure and their aspirations for their land under both Queensland and Federal legislation. FAME activities are regulated under s. 29 of the Native Title Act 1993 (‘NTA’) with Native Title Representative Bodies (NTRBs), such as the Cape York Land Council (CYLC), charged with carrying out a range of statutory functions in relation to these rights.

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