Rio Tinto leader Jean-Sebastien Jacques to hand over over Aboriginal cave destruction

Jean-Sebastien Jacques

symbol copyrightScott Barbour/Getty Photographs

symbol captionJean-Sebastien Jacques has been Rio Tinto’s leader govt since 2016

The boss of Rio Tinto, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, will step down following grievance of the mining massive’s destruction of sacred Aboriginal websites.

In Would possibly, the sector’s largest iron ore miner destroyed two historic caves in Pilbara, Western Australia.

The corporate went forward with blowing up the Juukan Gorge rock shelters in spite of the opposition of Aboriginal conventional homeowners.

It has sparked well-liked condemnation from shareholders and the general public.

  • Church of England assaults miner for Aboriginal blasts

  • Rio bosses lose bonuses over indigenous website destruction

On Friday, the corporate mentioned in a observation that “vital stakeholders have expressed issues about govt responsibility for the issues known”.

The board mentioned Mr Jacques would stay as the executive govt till March, or till a successor used to be appointed.

Different senior executives, together with the heads of the miner’s iron ore and company family members divisions, can even depart the corporate on the finish of the yr.

The caves – noticed as one in all Australia’s most vital archaeological analysis websites – had proven proof of continuing human habitation relationship again 46,000 years.

They sat above about 8 million tonnes of high-grade iron ore, with an estimated price of £75m (A$132m; $96m).

symbol copyrightAFP

symbol captionJuukan Gorge cave websites, noticed sooner than and after the destruction

Australia’s parliament is lately conserving an inquiry into the miner’s movements.

Rio Tinto additionally held its personal inquiry previous this yr, and then the corporate lower bonuses for administrators and started makes an attempt at repairing family members with Aboriginal communities.

“What took place at Juukan used to be mistaken and we’re made up our minds to make sure that the destruction of a heritage website of such outstanding archaeological and cultural importance by no means happens once more at a Rio Tinto operation,” mentioned chairman Simon Thompson.

Artefacts discovered on the caves come with a 28,000-year-old animal bone instrument and a 4,000-year-old belt made from plaited human hair. DNA checking out had immediately connected it to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) other folks – the standard homeowners of the land.

After the caves had been destroyed, a PKKP consultant, John Ashburton, mentioned shedding the website used to be a “devastating blow”.

“There are not up to a handful of identified Aboriginal websites in Australia which can be as outdated as this one… its significance can’t be underestimated,” he mentioned.

Ultimate week it used to be published that within the days working as much as the caves’ destruction in Would possibly, Rio Tinto employed legal professionals in case fighters attempted to hunt injunctions to prevent them.

Even though the corporate mentioned it had permission for the paintings beneath Aboriginal heritage regulations, critics mentioned it prompt the miner used to be conscious about the website’s cultural significance.

In June, rival miner BHP additionally halted its plans to enlarge its mine within the Pilbara area in June following outcry over Rio’s movements.

Comparable Subjects

  • Mining

  • Australia
  • Australian Aboriginal tradition
  • Western Australia

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