Rio Tinto CEO resigns after 46,000-year-old sacred local site destroyed

Rio Tinto CEO resigns after 46,000-year-old sacred local site destroyed

The company says Jack will go after choosing his successor or at the end of next March, whichever date comes first.

Two other executives are leaving: Iron Ore Business Head Chris Salisbury and Corporate Relations Group Executive Simon Niven. Salisbury will soon step down and leave the company at the end of the year. Nivan will also be out at the end of December.

Shares of Rio Tinto fell 1 percent in Sydney on Friday.

“What happened in Jukan was a mistake,” Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson said in a statement, referring to the destruction of two rock shelters in Western Australia that contain tens of thousands of years of human occupation.

At Operation Rio Tinto, we are determined to ensure that the destruction of such a heritage site of archaeological and cultural significance never happens again, ”Thompson added.

All three executives will receive lower pay, including long-term incentive rewards as part of their contract terms. He has already been fined $ 3.8 million (approximately $ 5 million) as a cut bonus.

The destruction of the Juan Gorge Caves on May 24 continued despite a seven-year struggle between the local patrons of the area, Puttu Kunti Kurama and the Pinikura people to protect the site. Rio Tinto He apologized In June.

In a report published last month, it said the company had failed to meet its own standards regarding responsible management and protection of cultural heritage. But this did not fire any executives – a decision that drew criticism from investment groups who accused the company of failing to take full responsibility for the demolition of the caves. The caves had archeological value and deep cultural significance for the adivasis.

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Rio Tinto acknowledged in a statement on Friday that key stakeholders had expressed concern about executive responsibility for identified failures.

Rio Tinto’s decision was welcomed by some Australian legal groups.

“This is the first step in a long journey to re-establishing Rio Tinto’s good training and reputation in relation to locals,” said James Fitzgerald, head of legal advice and strategy at the Australian Center for Corporate Responsibility.

He added that the damage could not be repaired. “It simply came to our notice then [Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura] People wonder if they are satisfied with the compensation offered by Rio Tinto.

The National Native Title Council, an organization representing the rights and interests of local custodial groups, also welcomed the departure.

“But this is not the end,” said CEO Jamie Lowe Tweeted. “Rio must now undertake a tribal-led review and large-scale cultural change.”

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