World’s Second Largest Mining Corporation Rio Tinto Ordered To Rebuild Ancient Caves



Image Credit – BBC



Multinational Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto ordered to rebuild ancient aboriginal mines in Western Australia.

They are about to build a 46,000 years old aboriginal cave system that blew up in May, according to an Australian parliamentary inquiry. The Juukan Gorge Cave was demolished in an iron ore exploration project on the red soil of Western Australia.

In a report on Wednesday, Rio Tinto’s “inexcusable” act is blasted with an inquiry and asked them to compensate the traditional owners of those provinces.

Rio Tinto repeated the apology and pr4omised to change their mining practices.

Earlier this year, multiple senior post-holders including Chief Executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques, resigned from the office after the incident took place. It was followed by a backlash from the public and the potential shareholders.

The Juukan Gorge caves in Pilbara have shown some significant evidence of continuous human habitation since the last ice age and it was destroyed due to ore exploration.

It was Australia’s as well as the World’s one of the most important Archeological research sites. But the demolition caused them good profit as they dug more than eight million tonnes of high-grade iron ore. The modern value for this much of ore is estimated at a value of £75m (A$132m; $96m).

In reaction to this incident, Rio Tinto organized an inquiry after which the bonuses of the Directors are cut and has more focused on repairing relationships with the aboriginal communities.

A parliamentary inquiry is also arranged to investigate the matter further analyze Rio Tinto’s behavior in response. Assessing the damage done by the company was crucial too as it affected the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people. They are the traditional owners of the lands where the caves were based.

In this report called ‘Never Again’, the inquiry ended with a conclusion that the multinational company Rio Tinto “knew the value of what they were destroying but blew it up anyway”.

It made a total of seven recommendations including a moratorium on mining in the local area by changing the heritage protection laws.

The verdict is welcomed by the PKKP Aboriginal Corporation with a hope that it will “prompt a fundamental reset of the sector” as they said.

Rio Tinto in a statement said that they are “working very hard to progress a remedy” with Pinikura (PKKP) people. They further added that the damage in the cave “does not reflect the values that aspire to”.


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