Yurra Pty Ltd awarded Pilbara contracts

Success a boost for indigenous communities

Diversified commercial contracting entity Yurra Pty Ltd has secured two packages of work with Rio Tinto Iron Ore on its Tom Price to Cape Lambert and Dampier rail corridor in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. 

The work involves the refurbishment of undertrack rail culverts in Dampier and works on rail level crossings at Cape Lambert.

Building on a recent joint venture agreement, Yurra has engaged leading Australian mining and civil contracting firm BGC Contracting to provide specific additional support and expertise for the project.

The indigenous owned Yurra and BGC Contracting have created a 50/50 joint venture to form an end-to-end operationally focussed civil and asset maintenance entity. 

Yurra is a diversified commercial contracting entity established in 2013 for the Yindjibarndi people. Yurra engages with the resource and development sector to develop, build and maintain infrastructure within their region and provide opportunities for the Yindjibarndi and the broader Ngarda community in the Roebourne, Karratha, Wickham, Cape Lambert and Millstream areas of the Pilbara.

Yurra Chairman Michael Woodley said that the project with Rio Tinto Iron Ore was a great opportunity for the partners in the joint venture to demonstrate the combined strength and expertise of the relationship.

“It is particularly pleasing to be working closely with Rio Tinto Iron Ore, who have a commitment to working with local indigenous communities,” Mr Woodley said.

BGC Contracting Chief Executive Officer Greg Heylen said that the work would be managed and operated from BGC Contracting’s regional branch located in the light industrial area in Karratha.

Mr Heylen said there were significant benefits for both Yurra and BGC Contracting in working together.

“There is access to a skilled and stable local work-force and significant opportunities for the local indigenous communities,” Mr Heylen said.

“We believe there is great potential for the joint venture in the future by using the collective strengths of the two partners.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore general manager Communities Ben Laidlaw said: “Over the past five years Rio Tinto has spent more than $3 billion with Pilbara Aboriginal businesses and their joint venture partners, and today we directly employ approximately 1000 Indigenous people, including more than 380 Pilbara Aboriginal people. 

“While operating in the current environment is challenging for small to medium size enterprises, we are continuing to work with an increasing number of Pilbara Aboriginal businesses to identify opportunities within our business, and support them to diversify into other industries,” Mr Laidlaw said.