Australia: Rio Tinto mining blast destroys ancient Aboriginal sacred site
Rio Tinto's mining blast for the expansion of an iron ore mine at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia destroyed a cave of significant cultural importance. The cave is considered a sacred site that showed 46,000 years of continual occupation and provided a 4,000-year-old genetic link to present-day traditional owners, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people.
The company's largest shareholders have raised their concerns and called for better community engagement and respect for culturally significant sites.
We invited Rio Tinto to respond and provide an explanation for how the blast came about and next steps to address the harm caused. Rio's response is linked below.