EcoMag plans to build and operate a magnesium plant near the town of Karratha, recovering magnesium-based materials from sea water. The depth and richness of Aboriginal history in the Karratha area is literally illustrated in one of the world’s most extensive and significant art galleries on the nearby Burrup Peninsula. This site contains hundreds of thousands of rock carvings, some of which were created as long as 30,000 years ago. The area is described as a place of worship, with stories and law written on the rocks. In 2007, the Dampier Archipelago was placed on the National Heritage List in recognition of its rock art. In August 2018, the Western Australian government signed a statement of intent to formally pursue an application for World Heritage listing.
Sadly, the Burrup Peninsula is also the site of some of Australia’s worst colonial massacres perpetrated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In the late 1860s, an unknown number of Jaburara (or Yapurarra) people were killed, while the remaining population was driven off country. EcoMag acknowledges the terrible suffering endured by the Aboriginal peoples of the region, and recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia continue to suffer today as a result of cultural disenfranchisement.
EcoMag is committed to a shared, whole-of-organisation approach to active engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
EcoMag believes in the vision of a united Australia that respects the land, values local heritage, and provides equity and justice for all.
EcoMag undertakes that its engagement with Traditional Owners will be guided by the following core principles:
- Acknowledgement and respect — EcoMag’s non-indigenous staff recognise that they cannot fully understand the experiences and perspectives of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and undertake that engagement with Traditional Owners will be conducted with respect for their diversity and their history.
- Relationships and engagement — EcoMag is committed to building effective social and professional relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who may be affected by the company’s operations.
- Capacity building — EcoMag recognises the strengths and capacity to contribute of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and seeks a collaborative approach to building skills and providing opportunities to support local communities.
- Autonomy — EcoMag recognises the need for all people to have autonomy in their lives and undertakes to consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to listen to their perspectives, and where possible to implement their preferred solutions.