The HoA, which is a major step in native title negotiations for the project, will need ratification by the native title claim group and the Rey Resources board.
After approvals, the next step would be a mining and coexistence agreement, anticipated to be finalised at the end of this year, Rey said in a statement.
“We strongly believe this responsible resource development can play a key role in furthering the prosperity of both indigenous and nonâ€indigenous communities in the region,” Rey Resources managing director Kevin Wilson said.
The Duchess Paradise project is located about 175km southeast of Derby and more than 60km by road from the nearest communities of Jarlmadangah and Looma.
It has a planned export rate of up to 2.5 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal using a high wall mining technique.
The project will consist of a low impact slot mine, accommodation camp, coal handling and processing plant, maintenance facility, sealed main access road (about 30km), offices, water pumping station, water and sediment control structures and other small ancillary facilities.
The coal will be exported through Derby where the company has existing port infrastructure and access through its sublease at the Derby export facility.
The HoA deals with employment, business contracting and cultural protection benefits for the community in addition to milestone payments, royalties and other financial benefits.
“Our company has been building relationships with local people since exploration got underway in 2008,” Wilson said.
“This has allowed for input by traditional owners which, together with environmental and geological factors, led to our project’s choice of the slot mining method.
“Our project is also located well away from environmentally sensitive areas.”
The Duchess Paradise project is progressing through regulatory approvals under the public environmental review process as allocated by the Environmental Protection Authority.
A PER document will be available for public review for eight weeks in the second half of 2012.