Rio Tinto CEO, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, Called To Resign Over The Destruction Of Ancient Caves In Australia
The Australian Centre for Corporate responsibility (ACCR) has called on Rio Tinto chief Executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques to resign over the mining company's destruction of indigenous caves in Australia, the FT reports.
On Friday, Australian parliamentarians also criticized the head of the company and other top managers for the decision to destroy the caves to gain access to the iron ore Deposit, the cost of which is estimated at $135 million. Members of the country's Parliament noted that the company's management failed to recognize the cultural significance of the object, which is 46 thousand years old.
Rio Tinto told a Parliamentary Committee that the head of the company did not read an archaeological report prepared in 2018, according to which the site had "the highest archaeological significance for Australia."
The country's largest pension fund, AustralianSuper, called the company's actions "completely unacceptable."
"AustralianSuper will try to ensure that Rio Tinto's actions do entail responsibility," said Andrew gray, the Foundation's Director of Environment, Social Affairs, and Corporate Governance.
The Hesta Pension Fund, which invests in Rio Tinto, also notified the company of its disappointment with its actions.
Former Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh said that in 2013 he decided not to destroy the facility and that the company should have sent this information in response to a parliamentary request. However, Rio Tinto has denied these data.
Warren Entsch, a member of the country's Parliament, noted that the company did not inform the indigenous people who owned the caves that it had three other potential options for carrying out work that would not have led to the destruction of the site.
Entsch said Rio Tinto would be called to a second public hearing to answer additional questions.
The mining company in 2013 received permission from the state of Western Australia to destroy caves to expand the Brockman 4 mine. previously, Rio Tinto negotiated with indigenous groups to obtain the right to work in this area.
Rio Tinto shares fell 2.9% in Sydney trading on Friday.