Response from OM Holdings OM HOLDINGS ACCEPTS COURT RULING OM Holdings Limited …

Comment on Mining company convicted and fined for desecration by OM Holdings.

Response from OM Holdings


OM Holdings Limited (“OMH” or the “Company”) notes today’s ruling handed down in the Darwin Magistrates Court against OM (Manganese) Limited (“OMM”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of OMH.

The decision relates to claims filed by the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (“AAPA”) in respect of damage to, and alleged desecration of, the Two Women Sitting Down sacred site within the boundaries of OMM’s Bootu Creek manganese mine near Tennant Creek.

During the proceedings OMM pleaded guilty to one charge of damaging the sacred site. The company contested the charges of desecration. It argued that it had no intention of damaging the site.

The Court today found OMM guilty under the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act (NT) of one count of desecration on the basis that the possibility of damage to the sacredness of the site was a foreseeable consequence of its mining activities. The other charge of desecration was dismissed. There was no finding that the Company intended to desecrate the site.

A financial penalty of $150,000 was awarded against OMM, $120,000 on the first count and $30,000 on the second.

Commenting on today’s decision, OMH Chief Executive Officer Peter Toth said that OMM accepts the Court’s ruling and deeply regrets the damage caused.

“The company never intended to harm, damage or disrespect the sacred site. We sincerely regret the damage and the hurt caused and I unreservedly apologise to the site’s custodians and traditional owners,” he said.

“While OMM encountered unexpected ground conditions in the Masai Pit, it is clear that our pit design and mining activities contributed to the damage at the site. As soon as that damage was identified we executed a comprehensive remediation plan, including ongoing monitoring, which helped to secure the site and prevent further damage,” he said.

Mr Toth said OMM had consulted with the Northern Land Council, AAPA and the NT Department of Mines and Energy from the time the damage was discovered until the remediation of the site was completed.

“OMM has been mining at Bootu Creek for more than six years,” he said. “Our intention was and remains to protect and respect the site at all times. The lessons learnt from this incident have been fully incorporated into OMM’s mining practices,” he added.

“We have built an excellent relationship with the traditional owners and made a positive contribution to the local community. We will continue to engage in an open and constructive way with the traditional owners and other local stakeholders going forward,” Mr Toth concluded.

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