Australia’s Federal Court has cleared the way for Fortescue Mining Group to continue mining iron ore after dismissing an appeal by a native title claim group.
Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) objected to three mining leases given to Fortescue by the West Australian state government.
The leases form part of the miner's Solomon project, currently under development about 200km south of Roebourne in the Pilbara region, and are mainly in Yindjibarndi country.
Justice John Gilmour on Friday handed down the judgment, saying the appeal had been dismissed.
"We are pleased this judgment confirms previous decisions granting these mining leases for our Solomon Hub mine. This verdict vindicates Fortescue's philosophy to support an entire community to become independent and move on from welfare. We look forward to continuing with Fortescue's expansion and delivering outcomes to the Yindjibarndi community as promised," ceor Nev Power said.
Solomon will be Fortescue's third iron ore mine and is estimated to contain tens of billions of dollars worth of ore.
Construction is underway and first ore production is slated for 2013.