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Article

30 May 2020

Author:
BBC

Mining firm Rio Tinto sorry for destroying Aboriginal caves

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31 May 2020

Mining giant Rio Tinto has apologised for blowing up 46,000-year-old Aboriginal caves in Western Australia dating back to the last Ice Age.

The Juukan Gorge caves, in the Pilbara region, were destroyed...as Rio Tinto expanded an iron ore project agreed with the authorities.

[...]

"We are sorry for the distress we have caused," said Chris Salisbury, the firm's iron ore chief executive.

"We pay our respects to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People (PKKP)," he said. The PKKP are the traditional owners of the site.

"We will continue to work with the PKKP to learn from what has taken place and strengthen our partnership. As a matter of urgency, we are reviewing the plans of all other sites in the Juukan Gorge area."
[...]

"Today we also recognise that a review is needed in relation to the management of heritage in Western Australia more broadly," Mr Salisbury said.

[...]

...[A] PKKP representative, John Ashburton, said losing the site was a "devastating blow".

[...]

"Our people are deeply troubled and saddened by the destruction of these rock shelters and are grieving the loss of connection to our ancestors as well as our land."

[...]

Part of the following stories

Australia: Rio Tinto mining blast destroys ancient Aboriginal sacred site

Australia: Extractive companies’ projects threaten to destroy Aboriginal heritage sites