Yuendumu Mining Company
Yuendumu Mining Company is Aboriginal owned. It has about 400 shareholders, and a Warlpiri Board of Directors. It is managed by Geologist, and long time resident of Yuendumu, Frank Baarda.
Set up around 1964, the Company aims at maximising ownership and local control of mineral resources. To this end, several million dollars worth of exploration for gold and other minerals has been carried out on areas in which the company had an interest.
Despite some very interesting exploration results, no commercial discoveries were made. So the Company’s main areas of business in the community are:
- Running a retail store, selling food, groceries, motor vehicle parts, and fuel for motor vehicles and air craft.
- Purchasing Ngurlu or seeds for resale, as bush tucker in communities and to food wholesalers. Also supplying the seed market for de-desertification and mining rehabilitation.
- Small scale earth moving contracts, including drill site access, and preparation and rehabilitation for mining exploration companies operating in the area.
- Accommodation for people staying in the community. Installation of accommodation at Mining, is now being finalised.
Mining has been an integral part of the community in many ways throughout its history. For example in 1988, it provided a loan to Warlukurlangu Artists, that enabled the organisation to survive at the time.
Mining Shop also serves as one of the gathering places in the community, where families come to shop for their daily groceries, have a snack, or get an ice cream for the kids. And in the mean time, to meet and chat with each other under the shade of the shop’s entrance, or the tree outside.