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BHP has signed a contract with a Pilbara Traditional Owner business for the supply of up to 4000 tyres a year for use across its Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) mining operations.

WAIO is BHP’s network of four processing hubs and five mining hubs, including rail and port facilities, in the Pilbara.

The Traditional Owner business, Gallawinya, will supply BHP with tyres to fit light vehicles and light trucks across the vast WAIO operations.

The contract also includes the potential for expansion to other mining sites, including other WAIO sites such as JimblebarNewman and Port Hedland.

According to BHP, Gallawinya is one of more than 80 Indigenous and Traditional Owner businesses engaged in the first half of 2023. WAIO has so far injected roughly $120 million into these businesses, with a 2023 target of $225 million.

BHP’s head of global Indigenous procurement Chris Cowan said the contract will create valuable opportunities.

“We’re trying to find ongoing, longer term operational contracts to collaborate with Traditional Owner businesses, and this is a great example of that,” Cowan said.

“What I particularly like about this one is it’s demonstrating a new category of supply by a Traditional Owner business that we haven’t seen before, and it’s going to create social value back into the communities in which we operate.

“We hope to collaborate with our maritime team to bring tyres directly into Port Hedland to reduce the need to transport the tyres by road from Perth to the Pilbara. This will improve our carbon footprint as well as safety risk and performance.”

Gallawinya is a subsidiary of East West Pilbara, which is owned by Traditional Owners group Nyamal.