Fortescue facing compensation claims after High Court ruling

Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals on Friday moved to assure shareholders that a decision by the High Court of Australia to deny the company leave to appeal an earlier ruling on a native title determination would not affect the current or future mining operations at the Solomon Hub, in the Pilbara.

The High Court on Friday rejected Fortescue’s application for special leave to appeal an October decision by the Full Federal Court to uphold the Yindjibarndi people’s native title rights over land in the Pilbara, which includes the site of the Solomon Hub.

The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation in 2003 first lodged its native title claim over the 2 700 km2 area, making it one of the longest running native title claims in the country.

Fortescue in 2005 discovered the Solomon iron-ore deposit, but has been operating the mine without a native title agreement with the Yindjibarndi people after negotiations collapsed in 2008.