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24 Feb 2021

Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.com

Australia: Fortescue apologizes to Wintawari Guruma people for clearing land on sacred sites

"Fortescue apologizes for clearing land on Aboriginal sacred site," 24 February 2021

Australian iron ore major Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) has apologized to a local Aboriginal group for clearing land on a heritage site without representatives of the community being present while the work was done. The iron ore miner had the Western Australian government’s permission to clear land in the Weelamurra Creek area, on the condition that members of the Wintawari Guruma people were present to perform salvage and cultural rites. Earlier this month, the miner promised to pay nearly A$2 million ($1.4 million) in outstanding 2019 royalties to WGAC. The group estimates at least 434 heritage sites on their land have already been destroyed through mining, while 285 more are close to mining operations and inaccessible to traditional owners.