Agnico Signs Historic Deal with DJAARA

May 14, 2024 9:17 am in by
Credit: Supplied.

After several years of negotiations, the Fosterville gold mine has struck a historic deal with DJAARA to funnel part of its annual profits to the Dja Dja Wurrung people.

Agnico Eagle, which operates the Fosterville gold mine – Victoria’s largest gold mine – in central Victoria, signed the historic agreement with the traditional owner group yesterday during a ceremony at Rocky Crossing, Goornong.

The agreement – Bakaru Wayaparrangu, which means ‘in the middle, we all meet’ in Dja Dja Wurrung language – comes following the state’s Indigenous truth-telling inquiry last month revealing that no revenue made off stolen land has ever been provided back to traditional owners. The inquiry discovered that over $287.4 billion worth of gold had been mined from Aboriginal traditional lands since 1851.

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Bakaru Wayaparrangu acknowledges the Dja Dja Wurrung People as the Traditional Owners of the land on which Agnico operates. The agreement aims to build a harmonious, long-term relationship based on
trust, mutual respect, and transparency as well as providing opportunities to Dja Dja Wurrung People.

The agreement furthers Agnico Eagle’s commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and includes building positive, lasting relationships with Indigenous Peoples, creating lasting opportunities for employment, business and education, and contributing to the social and economic well-being of the communities where we operate.

The agreement will also enable DJAARA to have some influence on the environmental impact of the mine and remediation works after the mine closes and will facilitate employment, training and business opportunities for Dja Dja Wurrung People. New jobs will be created to implement the agreement and financial contributions will also be made annually to DJAARA.

Dja Dja Wurrung Group CEO, Rodney Carter, says Bakaru Wayaparrangu signified a shift towards acknowledgement and DJAARA’s inclusion in decisions about mining activity on Dja Dja Wurrung

“Through this agreement, we will be able to speak for Country. Bakaru Wayaparrangu will ensure
that Dja Dja Wurrung People are compensated for some of the impact and receive some of the
benefit from mining activity on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. But this is not just about DJAARA: this
agreement will stimulate regional economic growth and could lead to hundreds of local jobs,”
Carter says.

President & Chief Executive Officer of Agnico Eagle, Ammar Al-Joundi, says, “We believe that for mining to work, it must work for all stakeholders. We are privileged to operate on Dja Dja Wurrung Country and this agreement allows us to strengthen our ties with the local community through respectful and meaningful engagement, ensuring that we honour our privilege with responsible stewardship. We are determined to leave a lasting positive legacy in the region, creating enduring benefits that outlive our operational presence.”

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A committee comprised of representatives from DJAARA, as well as employees and management
from Agnico Eagle, will soon be established to implement Bakaru Wayaparrangu and ensure the objectives of the agreement are achieved. In addition to the committee, the parties will each designate a
coordinator to implement various key actions.