An Aboriginal organisation, the Lhere Artepe Group,  has bought a controlling interest in civil engineering company, CDE.


CDE, which incorporates CDE Civil, CDE Equipment and CDE Mining, is the lead contractor for the new Mount Johns housing estate in Alice Springs, and also provides services to Fortescue Metals Group's Christmas Creek iron ore mine through the Downer EDI contracting group and to the Xstrata zinc mine at McArthur River.


Other contracts held by CDE include work for the New Future Alliance as part of the $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP), a joint initiative of the Australian and Northern Territory governments.


Lhere Artepe head Darryl Pearce has been elected chairman of CDE and Phil Staveley will be its new chief executive.


Mr Pearce said he aimed to broaden CDE’s civil, equipment hire and mining services contracts in the Northern Territory and other parts of Australia. Seventy-five employees of the company’s permanent workforce of 100 is Aboriginal.