Native Title Holders – Argyle – 2004 – Management Plan Agreement

Download Download

Basic information



Community party

Mandangala/Tiltuwam dawang and other traditional owners

Company signatory

Argyle Diamonds Limited and Argyle Diamond Mines Pty Limited



Project phase covered



National government: signatory?


Local government: signatory?


Was the agreement required by law?



Agreement ends after fulfillment of the conditions in Art. 1

Date of contract signature





East Kimberely Region

Source: URL


OpenCorporates ID

Listings in other databases

Listing of the parent contract at or

Summary of contract

  • Negotiation, representation, and other relevant context

    The parties to the management plan agreement are (i) Argyle Diamonds Ltd and Argyle Diamond Mines Pty Ltd (Argyle Diamonds); and traditional owners on behalf of (ii) Mandangala/Tiltuwam; (iii) Yunurr/Yalangga; (iv) Neminuwarlin; (v) Balaburr; (vi) Bilbidjing; (vii) Dundun; and (viii) other Miriwung, Gidja, Walarr and Malgnin people who have traditional rights in the agreement area, in West Australia. The agreement records how the parties have agreed to manage their ongoing day-to-day relationship. The parties’ relationship is based on certain principles including mutual respect and recognition, good faith in all interactions, mutual collaboration and enhancing the traditional owners’ participation in the mining operations of Argyle Diamonds (Art. 2.1). The agreement is executed at the same time as the Indigenous land use agreement between the Argyle Diamonds and the traditional owners (Recitals C). The agreement includes 8 management plans for topics such as aboriginal site protection, employment, training, land access and management, and business development. The management plans are enforceable according to their terms. The agreement has boxes in plain English intended to help people understand the clauses of the agreement. The agreement says that for people that cannot read, there is a video that tells people about the main things in the agreement (Preamble).

  • Governance, implementation, dispute resolution

    The agreement establishes a relationship committee consisting of 4 representatives from Argyle Diamonds Ltd and Argyle Diamond Mines Pty Ltd (Argyle Diamonds) and 26 representatives of traditional owners (Arts. 4.1, 5.1). The relationship committee may modify the agreement (Art. 5.1). The relationship committee has various functions including to: (i) monitor the ongoing implementation of the management plans, (ii) conduct regular reviews of the agreement, and (iii) make recommendations regarding the implementation of the agreement and the management plans (Art. 4.6(b)(d)(f)). The relationship committee may take advice from qualified advisors and delegate tasks but must not delegate its power to delegate or the overall performance of its functions (Art. 4.7). The relationship committee will meet at least once every 3 months (Art. 4.38). The members of the relationship committee will have training to ensure that all members have the knowledge and capabilities required to fulfill their obligations (Art. 4.19). Argyle Diamonds will pay for a secretariat to support the relationship committee, and the secretariat can be employees of Argyle Diamonds (Arts. 4.32, 4.33). The relationship committee may also establish subcommittees to review and administer all or part of specific management plans, and appoint persons with relevant knowledge or experience to sit on those subcommittees (including those who are not representatives of Argyle Diamonds or the traditional owners) (Art. 4.8). There will be an executive officer to assist the traditional owners to exercise their rights under the management plan agreement and the Indigenous land agreement. The executive officer is not part of the relationship committee (Art. 4.63). The executive officer, on the traditional owners’ behalf, is authorized to receive notices, reports and information provided by Argyle Diamonds under this agreement, and communicate to Argyle Diamonds of decisions made by the traditional owners under this agreement (Art. 4.59). If a dispute arises between the parties, either party may give notice of the dispute, and the parties must use their best endeavors to resolve the dispute within the relationship committee (Art. 8.1). If this fails within 21 days of the notice, either party may refer the dispute to mediation (Arts. 8.2, 8.3, 8.4). If the parties fail to achieve a resolution of the dispute by mediation within 4 weeks or such further time as agreed by the parties, either party may take such action, as it considers appropriate, such as commencing legal proceedings. Nothing in the agreement derogates any right of the parties to enforce their rights under the agreement. (Arts. 8.8, 8.9). The traditional owners and local Aboriginal communities will participate in an annual tour of the mine (Management plan 5 Art. 2).

  • Fiscal obligations: content

    Argyle Diamonds Ltd and Argyle Diamond Mines Pty Ltd (Argyle Diamonds) will pay an annual budget for the administration of the relationship committee, with the fees set out in Schedule 5 (Art. 4.54). The annual budget will include allocations for the purpose of: (i) general administration, (ii) obtaining advice for the relationship committee, (iii) obtaining independent advice for the representatives of Argyle Diamonds on the relationship committee, (iv) paying for attendance at committee meetings and (v) training for members of the relationship committee (Art. 4.56). Each representative of the traditional owners will be paid for their attendance at meetings (Art. 4.57). Argyle Diamonds will also fund the costs of the secretariat, which serves to support the relationship committee (Arts. 4.32, 4.33). The parties will split the costs for the employment of an executive officer, who will assist the traditional owners to exercise their rights and perform their obligations under the management plan agreement, the Indigenous land use agreement, and the Charitable Trust and the Special Purpose Trust set up in the Indigenous land use agreement (Arts. 4.64, 4.68). In the case of a dispute, the costs of the appointed mediator will be borne equally by the parties up to $20,000, after which the costs are borne 75% by Argyle Diamonds, and 25% by the traditional owners. Argyle Diamonds will contribute the projected amounts in Schedule 6 to the implementation of the management plans and for payments to the executive officer (Schedule 6). Argyle Diamonds is responsible for the cost of any works survey or archaeological surveys required including the cost of traditional owners participating in the surveys based on an agreed daily rate (Management Plan 1, Art. 12).

  • Community development obligations: Local content

    The purpose of the management plan agreement is to benefit traditional owners and local Aboriginal communities from opportunities to gain further employment, training programs, greater involvement in protection of cultural heritage and land management, and more business opportunities with Argyle Diamonds Ltd and Argyle Diamond Mines Pty Ltd (Argyle Diamonds) (Recitals D). There is one permanent subcommittee being the Business Development Taskforce, which has functions including to inform traditional owners’ businesses of any contracting opportunities notified by Argyle Diamonds, to consider ideas for potential traditional owner businesses and to work with government and community agencies to develop business support and incubation services in the East Kimberley region (Art. 4.9 and Management Plan 7, Art. 4.1). Argyle Diamonds will provide support to traditional owners’ businesses, including hiring a business development facilitator, to develop business plans and skills (Management plan 5 Art. 5). If a traditional owner applies for a training or job opportunity, Argyle Diamonds will grant the opportunity to a traditional owner in preference to other applicants (Management Plan 2, Arts. 5.2, 6). Argyle Diamonds will provide an employment and training mine tour and workshop to encourage traditional owners to apply for training and employment opportunities by providing traditional owners with a better understanding of what jobs are available at these entities, and the skills needed to obtain those jobs (Management Plan 2, Art. 8). Argyle Diamonds has an obligation to ensure that its employees and any contractors contracted in excess of 6 months will attend cross cultural training. It will train up to 20 traditional owners to assist them in the delivery of the general cross cultural content under Rio Tinto policies and the East Kimberley specific part of the cross cultural training. Argyle Diamonds will employ any traditional owners providing the cross cultural training (Management Plan 3, Art. 4.1).

  • Community development obligations: Other

    Argyle Diamonds Ltd and Argyle Diamond Mines Pty Ltd and the traditional owners will work collaboratively with governmental agencies to develop strategies for raising school retention rates amongst traditional owners’ children living in the East Kimberley (Management Plan 2, Art. 3.2).

  • Environmental and social protection

    A survey is required if Argyle Diamonds Ltd and Argyle Diamond Mines Pty Ltd (Argyle Diamonds) proposes to conduct ground disturbing works inside the agreement area but outside the current mining area, unless otherwise agreed (Management Plan 1, Arts. 4.2, 4.3). If a survey is required, Argyle Diamonds will engage, jointly on behalf of Argyle Diamonds and the traditional owners, an archaeologist from a list of agreed consultants and will provide the traditional landowners and the archaeologist with a written work program, which must include several details including its proposals to minimize the impact of the work program on the environment and the traditional owners (Management Plan 1, Arts. 6.1, 7.1). A survey team consisting of male and female senior traditional owners, as well as two anthropologists will conduct the work clearance survey, after a separate archaeological survey is conducted (Management Plan 1, Arts. 8.11, 8.14). This work clearance survey, signed by the anthropologists, will state to Argyle Diamonds the proposed activities in the work program which are cleared and which are not cleared (Management Plan 1, Arts. 8.24, 8.25). Access to the agreement area is restricted to those on a specified land access traditional owner list that the traditional owners have to provide to Argyle Diamonds (Management Plan 4, Art. 4.1). Where Argyle Diamonds is intending to undertaking decommissioning of any major infrastructure and/or rehabilitation works, there is a consultative process with the traditional owners through submission of a proposal and it will provide the traditional owners with a proposal in relation to the proposed works (Management Plan 5, Art. 3; Management Plan 6). Argyle Diamonds and the traditional owners agree to establish a management plan for the Devil Devil Spring as an important place for the traditional owners (Management Plan 8).

  • Transparency or confidentiality

    It is intended that recording these commitments in the management plan agreement will provide Argyle Diamonds and the traditional owners with an agreed and transparent basis for their continuing relationship (Recitals E).