“Groundbreaking” vision to sustain mining futures for communities 18 July 2011

18 July 2011
“Groundbreaking” vision to sustain mining futures for
Western Cape Traditional Owners inaugural investment strategy
In a groundbreaking piece of work, the Western Cape Communities Trust has recently developed a
“visionary plan” to ensure the long term sustainability of mining royalty revenues for the
communities and Traditional Owners of the Western Cape York region of Queensland.
The inaugural Western Cape Communities Trust (WCCT) Investment Strategy outlines the direction
for the Trust’s Royalty Investments which is projecting an estimated $150 million in retained funds
by 2022.
WCCT Executive Officer Georgina Richters said the Investment Strategy – developed by Traditional
Owner Directors and associated with our mining agreement - is the first of its kind in Australia.
“Trust directors and members have worked diligently for three years to ensure compliance in legal,
tax and governance matters and now this Investment Strategy provides long term direction for the
management of Rio Tinto Alcan and Queensland Government royalties for its shareholders.
“This strategy is not just about the royalties now, but about ensuring the development of a
sustainable future for Western Cape Communities - well after the mining has finished.
“The WCCT is a perpetual trust and currently the largest of its kind in Australia. The strategy
development was essential to meet the long term investment intentions of the 1000 registered
shareholders and to support the social and economic advancement of the communities and
traditional owners of the Western Cape York region,” Ms Richters said.
The WCCT is a company 100% owned and operated by the 11 Traditional Owner Groups of the
Western Cape York Region.
“To ensure directors and members act as prudent investors, they are also undertaking relevant
training to understand and always act in the best interest of their shareholders.
“The next stage of our journey is to appoint portfolio managers to manage the investments and we
are all very excited by what the future holds in the Western Cape Region. Much could be learnt
nationally and internationally from how these Traditional Owners undertake their business” Ms
Richters said.
The Western Cape Communities Coexistence Agreement (WCCCA) was signed in March 2001 and
is an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) over the Rio Tinto Alcan mining lease area. The
Agreement formally recognises traditional ownership and provides support for Rio Tinto Alcan
activities in return for land use and a range of benefits for the communities including employment,
training, cultural heritage and site protection, cultural awareness, support for ranger programs and
educational bursaries, relinquishment of land, and a royalty stream to charitable trusts. The
Agreement also sets out a number of obligations on all parties, particularly the Traditional Owner
Groups and Rio Tinto Alcan.
Georgina Richters, Executive Officer, (07) 4069 7945 or [email protected]