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Partnering in the Pilbara with Jukawalyi Resources

Thiess commenced operations at the Fortescue Iron Bridge iron ore site in Western Australia’s Pilbara region in July 2022 with a strong commitment to building opportunities for the local Nyamal Traditional Owners and other local Indigenous businesses.

Taking a cross-functional support approach to facilitate economic development opportunities for Nyamal and other Indigenous businesses, representatives from Thiess' community engagement, procurement, assets and projects teams collaborated with Indigenous businesses to understand specific interests and identify opportunities to build capability. Thiess began engaging Jukawalyi Resources, a Nyamal business, in the early stages of the Iron Bridge project to supply transport and logistics services between Port Hedland and the project.

Established by Director Joanne Taylor, Jukawalyi’s strategy is to provide comprehensive services to mining industry contractors and subcontractors who are developing infrastructure on country, by utilising local knowledge and expertise.

In 2023, Thiess' teams have worked closely with Joanne to identify additional commercial opportunities. This has resulted in Jukawalyi expanding their service offering to the provision of a freight and logistics service and a dry hired pick and carry crane and, more recently, the hire of four solar powered lighting towers. To date, Thiess have spent $517,000 with Jukawalyi Resources.

These additional opportunities have resulted in a marked increase in Thiess' commercial dealings with Jukawalyi Resources and demonstrate the success of a proactive approach to linking important business partners with opportunities.

Joanne explained, “Working with Thiess and the procurement team has been a positive experience and has enabled the business to expand and mature. This growth provides certainty when making commercial decisions about investing back into the business in providing good quality service and long-term meaningful relationships with freight transport, purchase equipment, manage cash flow and provides the opportunity to employ more people from the community.” Martin Drage, Fortescue Group Manager – Aboriginal Business Development, said it was terrific to see the collaborative efforts from Thiess and Fortescue to offer and expand opportunities for local Nyamal Traditional Owners and Pilbara businesses to subcontract services at Iron Bridge.

“Thiess procurement and community teams have a great relationship with our Indigenous development teams: sharing ideas, pursuing opportunities and following up leads. Our partnership is working well resulting in commercial and social benefits as well as capability building with several local businesses,” Martin explained.

Partnering in the Pilbara with Jukawalyi Resources