11 Jul 2014

Mining on Aboriginal land ruled invalid

7:49 pm on 11 July 2014

An Australian Federal Court judge has found a number of mining licences in the Western Australian goldfields are invalid because they affect native title rights.

The Ngadju people allege that a number of tenements held by Gold Fields' subsidiary, St Ives Gold, affected their lands.

The court found that certain mining permits re-granted by the Australian government in 2004 were invalid and not compliant with the correct Native Title Act processes, the ABC reports.

The company said it is surprised and disappointed by the finding, as it has complied with its legal obligations.

The parties now have to undertake a process of agreeing to the terms of the determination, which could take some months.

Gold Fields said mining would remain unaffected pending the outcome of the determination process, although it said an appeal to the Federal Court is likely.