Sandfire Resources has admitted that an internal review of historical activities has confirmed the disturbance of a First Nations cultural heritage artefact scatter at the Monty copper mine of its DeGrussa operations. 

The review included an assessment of available geospatial data, which indicated the disturbance primarily occurred in 2017 and 2018 as a result of a series of process failures during the construction of the Monty satellite mine.

Sandfire has engaged with the Traditional Owners to inform them of the disturbance of artefact scatter within the Monty mining lease and to apologise. Sandfire management and representatives of the Traditional Owners group jointly visited the mining lease earlier in November, and Sandfire has said that it is seeking to understand the Traditional Owner’s wishes and respond to their needs.

Separately, Sandfire said that it will complete a thorough investigation to determine the root cause of the process failures and to identify potential improvement opportunities in its approach to historical matters of this nature. 

Following continued engagement with the Traditional Owners and their representative, Sandfire has now reported the disturbance of unregistered, low density artefact scatter to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage in Western Australia.

Sandfire CEO, Brendan Harris, said that the company prides itself on being a values-based organisation and is sorry to have disturbed artefact scatter within the Monty mining lease during construction and mining activities. 

“Our local communities are of critical importance to us and we will work hard to rebuild our relationship with the Traditional Owners.”

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