The Yanyuwa have lived around the McArthur River in Australia’s Northern Territory for millennia and were able to legally claim the land in 1977 under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, which allows indigenous people to establish ownership of land based on traditional occupation. Nonetheless, Australian mining company MIM, which by then had been operating in the area for three decades, began underground mining activities along the river in 1995. In 2003, the government of the Northern Territory approved MIM’s application to transition from underground to above-ground (“open-cut”) mining, a process involving the diversion of the McArthur River. A short time later, MIM sold its operations to London-listed Xstrata Plc, Europe’s largest zinc producer. Now, as full owners of McArthur River Mining Pty Ltd, Xstrata is authorized to extract 43 million tons of the resource over the next 20 years.