​The McArthur River Mine (MRM) Community Benefits Trust was established in 2007 for the life of our zinc-lead mine, near Borroloola in the Northern Territory.

The charitable trust is an innovative model that collaborates with the State Government and the local community to contribute to the socio-economic development of the region. It aims to bring to life a long-term vision of sustainability, developed in close partnership with the community, for the community.

Supporting the Li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Ranger Unit and Yanyuwa Sea Country

A particular area of focus for the Trust has been to support the Li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Ranger Unit. The unit manages an Indigenous Protected Area of the Gulf of Carpentaria and around the Sir Edward Pellew Islands, just north of McArthur River.

Between 2011 and 2013 we invested $1.2 million through the Trust, as well as providing MRM personnel support and sponsorship, across eight initiatives supporting the Sea Rangers and the Yanyuwa people of the sea country.

The activities included: 

  • Two new vehicles for the rangers and contribution to operational costs (2011-2013) 
  • Development of a Plan of Management and subsequent commercial development of small economic enterprises to provide an income stream and employment to support environmental management activities in the Indigenous Protected Area (Commenced 2011 and additional grant in 2013 for two years to 2015) 
  • A long-term study on dugong and coastal dolphin in the Yanyuwa Sea Country by James Cook University in collaboration with the Sea Rangers (commenced 2013) 
  • Support for eco-tourism establishment and trials on West Island for a turtle camp providing visitors with the opportunity to participate in turtle research undertaken by the Rangers and Yanyuwa families (2012 and expanded in 2013) 
  • Publishing a Yanyuwa dictionary with Monash University's Indigenous Centre with over 4,000 entries of words and translation, and a collection of texts and songs (2013) 
  • Involvement of Sea Rangers in the annual marine monitoring program conducted by MRM and reporting back on results
  • Providing support for Sea Ranger representatives to attend the Northern Territory Government's Territory Natural Resource Management forum in Darwin

By partnering with the Yanyuwa People who inhabit the islands, we have come a long way in protecting the local marine environment and building capacity in the group's ability to implement critical conservation initiatives.

Over the six years to June 2014, the Trust committed over $10 million to 60 grant programs implemented throughout the region.