• Adnyamathanha;
  • Beverley uranium project;
  • cultural heritage management;
  • Indigenous–mining interface;
  • native title;
  • South Australia


Howitt (2009) claims that state control over mineral and energy resources and developer–Indigenous relations constitute the ‘active erasure’ of Indigenous knowledge and governance. The cultures and interests of Indigenous players are diverse and at times conflicting during Indigenous–mining interface, and collective bargaining has been shown to substantially weaken these positions, especially in regard to those Indigenous players primarily concerned with the protection of localised heritage. This paper explores a case study from a remote region of South Australia to document this erasure and its implications and to advocate decolonisation of the regulatory interfaces between mining and Indigenous peoples in resource, environmental and heritage governance. It adopts an Indigenous standpoint for research and argues the need for academic research to accept responsibility for some weaknesses in existing systems. The experiences of Adnyamathanha people are used to support an argument that Indigenous empowerment through informed decision-making and a decolonising engagement strategy are yet to be fully realised as key components of an effective interface between Indigenous and commercial players.