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8 Sep 2020

Nick Toscano, The Sydney Morning Herald

Rio Tinto's board under pressure to review cave blast sanctions

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8 September 2020

Rio Tinto's board is being forced to consider dismissing senior executives over the blasting of two 46,000-year-old Aboriginal rock shelters as an investor campaign for greater accountability from the miner gathers pace.

Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques and two senior executives were [...] stripped of $7 million in bonuses after an internal investigation found they must bear some responsibility [...].


Rio Tinto investors have told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that any further financial penalties would be considered inadequate, leaving the board to mull the question of whether to stand down any, or all, of the three executives identified as being responsible, including Mr Jacques. A company insider said there was a growing verdict within Rio that "heads will roll".


Several major Australian super funds including AustralianSuper, HESTA and UniSuper, immediately raised concerns that the board's proposed consequences failed to deliver meaningful accountability.