Gawler Ranges Native Title Group – SACOME – 2005 – Template Framework Indigenous Land Use Agreement

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Basic information



Community party

Gawler Ranges Native Title Claim Group

Company signatory

South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy Inc (SACOME)



Project phase covered



National government: signatory?


Local government: signatory?


Was the agreement required by law?



Agreement ends after fulfillment of the conditions in Art. 2

Date of contract signature





Gawler Ranges Native Title Claim Area

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Summary of contract

  • Negotiation, representation, and other relevant context

    The parties to the Indigenous land use agreement are the Attorney General on behalf of the Crown in right of the state of South Australia; the Minister for Mineral Resources Development; the Registered Native Title Claimants (native title claimants) for and on behalf of the Gawler Ranges Native Title Claim Group (native title claim group); Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Inc.; and the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy Inc (the parties). The agreement governs the overarching framework for providing consent to (i) the grant of mining exploration tenements and (ii) the carrying out of authorized exploration activities within the Gawler Ranges native title claim area. The native title claim group authorized the native title claimants to enter into the agreement on their behalf (Recitals B-D). Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement is the representative Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander body for the agreement pursuant to the Native Title Act (Recital E). The agreement contains the definitions, the term and the interpretation rules for the agreement and for the grant of exploration tenements (Arts. 1, 2). All the parties to the agreement consent to the grant of the authorized exploration tenements and the carrying out of authorized exploration activities under those exploration tenements (Recitals, Art. 3.1). The parties acknowledge that all persons holding native title in relation to the land and/or waters in the exploration area who are not members of the Gawler Ranges native title claim group are bound by the accepted Indigenous land use agreement in relation to the land to which the agreement applies (Art. 5.3). The grant of an authorized exploration tenement and the conduct of activities under that tenement do not extinguish the native title claim group’s native title over the land and waters covered by the agreement (Art. 4.1).

  • Governance, implementation, dispute resolution

    If a party to the agreement holding an exploration tenement breaches an essential term of the agreement, the consent given to the exploration does not apply. Within 20 business days of becoming aware of that alleged breach, the native title claim group has to give notice and require remedy to the defaulting party and the defaulting party has 20 business days to remedy (Arts. 3.7, 3.8). The exploration tenement to which the consent does not apply is called an excluded tenement and the right to negotiate procedure, in the terms of the Mining Act and the Native Title Act, applies to an excluded tenement (Art. 3.10). A person may enter into an accepted exploration contract in relation to an exploration tenement by signing and registering an acceptance document and notifying the native title claim group of the acceptance document’s signature (Art. 5). The government must notify the native title parties of the grant of any exploration tenement within the agreement area to any person within 10 business days of the grant (Art. 7). Every 5 years, any party to the agreement may give the other parties notice that it requires a review of the agreement. After receiving the notice, the parties will meet within 20 business days to negotiate in good faith the amendments proposed to the agreement. If no agreement has been made regarding the amendments proposed, then the agreement no longer enables an explorer to enter into an accepted exploration contract, but it does not in any way affect any accepted exploration contracts entered before the review date (Art. 2.2). The parties agree that a person may enter into an exploration contract by notifying the Indigenous parties of the explorer's due completion and signature of the acceptance document of the exploration and simultaneously providing the native title parties with a copy of the acceptance document duly stamped and, if applicable, registered under the Mining Act (Art. 5(a)(iii)). The parties will make every effort to ensure that disputes do not arise. If there is a dispute it will not be taken to litigation or arbitration (except litigation proceedings for injunctive, interlocutory or declaratory relief). If a dispute arises the complainant party will notify the other parties of the dispute within 20 business days, then they will meet within 5 business days and will try to resolve the dispute within a further period of 10 business days. If the dispute is not resolved, a mediator will be appointed. If the dispute is not resolved by mediation, it will be taken to an expert, who is not an arbitrator, and the expert’s determination is final and binding on the parties in dispute. Each of the parties in dispute will bear its own costs in relation to the expert’s determination, unless the expert determines a different distribution of the costs (Art. 11). All communications among the parties under the agreement will be in writing (Art. 12). Each party submits to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of courts exercising jurisdiction in South Australia in connection with matters concerning this agreement (Art. 14.10).

  • Fiscal obligations: content

    The government will use its best endeavors to negotiate a lease of an office to enable the native title parties to perform their obligations under the agreement (Art. 9.1(a)). Upon execution of that lease, the government will pay $5,936 to be applied to the first year’s rent and to the security bond under the lease, and, if there is any money remaining, to the native title parties’ general revenue (Art. 9.1(a)(ii)). Further, the government will pay to a body nominated by the native title parties (nominated body), and upon registration of the agreement: (i) $1,500 for office equipment; (ii) $10,000 in 24 equal fortnightly instalments as part payment of the salary for one administrative officer; (iii) $5,000 for funding any pre-vocational training courses the nominated body chooses; (iv) $13,400 for whatever purpose the nominated body chooses (Art. 9.1(a)). If the office lease is terminated for any reason within the first 12 months, the nominated body must pay back any of the $5,936 that has not been spent on rent (Art. 9.1(b)). If the government or the native title parties are unable to fulfill their obligations under Articles 9.1(a)(ii) or 9.1(iv) and the government has not paid the relevant amounts, the government will pay the relevant amounts to the nominated body’s general revenue (Art. 9.1(c)(i)). If the government has made those payments, any amounts paid can be applied to general revenue of the nominated body (Art. 9.1(c)(ii)). If the nominated body does not apply any of the $5,000 for pre-vocational training course during the term of the agreement, the amount not applied must be repaid to the government (Art. 9.1(d)).

  • Community development obligations: Local content

    The parties acknowledge and agree that there are limited opportunities for an explorer and its contractors to employ people, other than specialists, during authorized exploration activities including members of the native title claim group (Art. 4.7(a)(i)(ii)). The parties also acknowledge that it is in their mutual interests that government funded training for Aboriginal people is offered in regional South Australia to provide those people with skills required for employment in the resources industry (and transferable to other industries) including in relation to mining exploration activities (Art. 4.7(b)(c)). The parties agree to consult with the relevant Aboriginal communities and to develop strategies and programs for that training (Art. 4.7(d)).

  • Environmental and social protection

    The native title parties may notify the other parties to this agreement that they wish to have an exploration mapping survey or a cultural mapping survey undertaken. The government will evaluate the reasons for requesting the mapping and agrees to be responsible for all costs and expenses incurred in the mapping survey. The government will fund that survey if it agrees that the survey is in the best interests of the government, as well as the government and the native title parties agreeing on certain matters such as the scope of the survey (Art. 8).

  • Transparency or confidentiality

    The parties agree to use their best endeavors to obtain the registration of this agreement on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (Art. 6.2). All of the parties to the agreement may request the registrar to remove the details of the agreement from the register by advising the registrar in writing that they wish to terminate the agreement. If details of the agreement are removed from the register, the consent given to any future exploration done after that removal ceases to apply (6.3). No party may make or allow any statement or announcement concerning any of the terms of the agreement unless that statement or announcement is first approved by each other party (or is required by law) (Art. 14.4).

  • Other noteworthy clauses

    No party can terminate the agreement for any reason, including breach or repudiation of the agreement (Art. 2.3). The parties to the agreement acknowledge that compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement is not a condition of any authorized exploration tenement (Art. 4.5).