Abstract: This paper describes and critically examines five resource development agreements signed between mining companies and Aboriginal communities between 1992 and 1994 in the Northern Territory and north Queensland. These include the Mt Todd Agreement, the McArthur River Agreement, the Cape Flattery-Hope Vale Agreement, the Mapoon-Skardon River Agreement and the Placer Pacific-Kalkadoon Tribal Council Agreement. It also discusses the general approach adopted by the Northern Land Council in the Northern Territory to negotiating exploration licence agreements under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. The paper updates a somewhat dated literature that examines a series of mineral development agreements negotiated between Aboriginal interests and mining companies in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It also analyses the broader context within which the five recent agreements examined were negotiated and assesses the purposes and contents of the agreements themselves. In conclusion, the author comments on the broader political significance of some general trends that emerge from the cases considered and suggests criteria for evaluating these agreements.
Notes: historical perspective ISSN: 1036 1774 ISBN: 0 7315 1759 8