Ellendale-Bunuba Trainee Program

Abandoned Mines Program Ellendale project achieves significant indigenous participation rate through the Buru Rehab contract
Date: Thursday, 19 October 2023

The Abandoned Mines Program Ellendale project achieved significant wins with the rehabilitation earthworks having started on the former West Kimberley diamond mining lease during the current dry season. The project is providing excellent training and employment opportunities for the local community.

Buru Rehab, an indigenous business specialising in mine site rehabilitation and indigenous engagement, has partnered with the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) and the local community to deliver an indigenous training program on Country at the Ellendale mine.

Experienced local Bunuba operators and trainers are providing trainees with valuable skills for a future career in the mining industry with a focus on industry standard safe operating practices.

Ellendale-Bunuba Trainee Program graduates will have employment pathway opportunities within the Ellendale rehabilitation team or further afield to Buru Rehab projects in the Pilbara, Goldfields and Great Southern.

On 19 September, DMIRS Senior Officers together with the Abandoned Mines team, Buru Rehab Directors and the operational team met on Country with 12 representatives of the Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) to review the works progress.

Bunuba Elders expressed how pleased they are to see works underway to help restore Country.

Despite the extensive flooding throughout the Fitzroy River catchment causing delays, the 2023 dry season works program under the Buru Rehab Ellendale contract has been very positive, with the contract already achieving 50 per cent indigenous participation in the workforce across its roster. Three Bunuba trainees are progressing towards being certified competent on a range of equipment and tasks under the contract. 

Tara Read, General Manager of the Abandoned Mines Program, said: "It is exciting to be part of a program which not only will improve environmental conditions at Ellendale, but through Buru Rehab’s innovative approach is creating tangible employment and training opportunities on Country.”

The Ellendale diamond mine rehabilitation project is funded by the State Government’s Mining Rehabilitation Fund as part of the Abandoned Mines Program.