New Indigenous trainees set to rehabilitate Ellendale mining lease

New indigenous trainee program to provide meaningful employment pathways
Date: Thursday, 27 July 2023
  • New indigenous trainee program to provide meaningful employment pathways
  • Trainees will build upon successful rehabilitation work at Ellendale mining lease

A new indigenous trainee program is underway in the West Kimberley as part of the Cook Government’s plan to rehabilitate the former Ellendale diamond mining lease.

The Bunuba Trainee program, delivered by local Bunuba and indigenous people, will provide a meaningful employment pathway through an on-Country training initiative.

The traineeships form part of the State Government’s earthworks contract awarded to Buru Rehab, an indigenous business that specialises in mine rehabilitation services across Western Australia.

Buru Rehab is aiming to employ a minimum of 12 trainees in groups of four, with the company set to complete the earthworks over the next three dry seasons. This phase of the project will address several areas across the site currently experiencing erosion.

The company’s efforts will build upon the safety works successfully completed at Ellendale in 2022. This included the removal of all obsolete infrastructure and equipment, with all waste materials being sent for recycling or disposal at appropriately licensed facilities.

Ellendale was declared an abandoned mine in December 2015. The ongoing landform stabilisation project is fully funded by the State Government’s Mine Rehabilitation Fund.

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has been working towards making the site safe for incoming tenement holders and anyone who may access the area.

For more information on the Ellendale site, visit:

Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:

“The Bunuba Trainee Program is a fantastic opportunity for Aboriginal people to gain local training, skills and employment opportunities.

“Supporting regional jobs across Western Australia is a priority for the Cook Government as it encourages people to stay and support their local communities.

“As part of its oversight of the Ellendale mining lease, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety consulted a range of stakeholders including Aboriginal interests, local government, tenement holders and pastoralists.”