The previous agreement on good neighbours was mainly with a family group, which effectively deprived other traditional owners who were responsible for the mining area. Argyle Diamonds has not really had a relationship with the Kimberley Regional Council and although they have had a relationship with some of the traditional owners through the Good Neighbour Agreement.13 Negotiations on the new agreement have become a process of re-establishing these relationships, not only between the mining company and the original signatories of the good neighbour, but with all traditional owners. In September 2004, the traditional owners of the Argyle mining area signed a participation agreement with Argyle, which provides for formal and mandatory recognition of the rights and interests of traditional owners, including national titles, in the leasing mining area. The first step towards the development of the Argyle Agreement was to restore relations and restore the injustices of the past 20 years. First, there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that formalized the relationship between Argyle Diamonds and the Kimberley Land Council on behalf of traditional owners. The MoU served as the basis for the negotiation process and an important element was the development of trust with traditional owners. The Council has decided on the substantive issues to be negotiated; A structure and timetable for negotiations; Principles and objectives Resources and funding 11 Under the Native Title Act, exploration or mining activities refer to the “right to negotiate” that allows local parties to negotiate agreements with investors. These agreements define the conditions for the implementation of each future legislative act, including, in some cases, the provision of jobs and training, the protection of the environment or cultural heritage or compensation and payments. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, a party may request a decision from the Native Title Tribunal. According to the CEO of the Kimberley Regional Council, interpreters and advisors played an important role in the negotiations on legal and financial issues. “Financial advisors advised on specific issues, including whether this agreement was reasonable or not, and verified and discussed what was happening in other areas.” 17 The second stage was a formal apology from Argyle Diamonds to the traditional owners for past injustice. Shortly thereafter, in May 2003, the traditional owners agreed to the underground mine.
A framework agreement was drawn up at that time. The framework agreement was an extension of the program. He described the traditional contractual principles and decision-making processes.12 The Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) and Argyle Management Plan Agreement (AMPA) are probably the most comprehensive agreements ever between a commodity company and traditional owners traded in Australia. They are the result of one of the most comprehensive agreement procedures with traditional owners. The unique structure of the agreements reflects the aspirations of both the Argyle Diamond mine and traditional owners, that the agreements provide a solid foundation for a sustainable partnership and sustainable prosperity for traditional owners over the life of the Argyle mine and after the end of mining.1 Argyle Diamonds is committed to ensuring that all employees and contractors who have worked with Argyle for more than 6 months of cross-cultural training.