Recent Cases

Harvey v Minister for Primary Industry and Resources [2024] HCA 1 (07 February 2024) (Gageler CJ; Gordon, Edelman, Steward and Gleeson JJ)


Native title – Native title rights – Mining – Mineral leases – Where s 24MD(6B) of Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) entitles native title holders to certain procedural rights in relation to future acts that, relevantly, involve “the creation or variation of a right to mine for the sole purpose of the construction of an infrastructure facility … associated with mining” – Where Mount Isa Mines Limited carries on mining enterprise in Northern Territory – Where Mount Isa Mines Limited applied for mineral lease (“ML 29881”) under Mineral Titles Act 2010 (NT) to construct Dredge Spoil Emplacement Area (“DSEA”) on pastoral lease – Where first and second appellants native title holders in respect of land comprising pastoral lease – Where third appellant relevant prescribed body corporate for the purposes of Native Title Act – Whether appellants entitled to procedural rights in s 24MD(6B) of Native Title Act – Whether proposed grant of ML 29881 constitutes creation of right to mine for sole purpose of construction of infrastructure facility associated with mining pursuant to s 24MD(6B)(b) of Native Title Act – Whether definition of “infrastructure facility” in s 253 of Native Title Act exhaustive – Whether DSEA infrastructure facility.

Words and phrases – “associated with mining”, “definition”, “dredging”, “exhaustive”, “explanatory memorandum”, “extrinsic materials”, “future act”, “includes any of the following”, “infrastructure facility”, “mine”, “mineral lease”, “mining”, “mining lease”, “mining operations”, “mining tenement”, “native title holders”, “ordinary meaning”, “right to mine”, “right to negotiate”, “sole purpose”, “statutory interpretation”.