On 24 March, Australian lawmakers investigate the destruction of the caves in the Juukan Gorge in the northwest of the country. May, which cost the CEO of Rio Tinto his job and damaged the reputation of the entire mining industry.
Legislators recommended Wednesday that Rio Tinto negotiate a return agreement with the country’s traditional owners, Putu Kunti Curram and the Pinikura people (PKKP). They also called on Rio Tinto and colleagues in Western Australia to stop using gag clauses in land use agreements that prevent Aboriginal groups from opposing mining activities.
The study could reshape the relationship between indigenous communities and miners, who are among Australia’s largest companies.
Around the world, many mining activities are carried out on land traditionally owned by indigenous groups, particularly in South America, Africa and outside the Arctic Circle. While environmental, social and governance standards have become increasingly important for investors in recent years, the emphasis is on emission control or the management of environmental disasters resulting from declining waste volumes.
An Australian investigation revealed an imbalance of power between the mining industry and indigenous groups. It found that most agreements contained provisions preventing traditional landowners from taking legal action or preventing the destruction of cultural sites.
We hope that the preliminary results of the study will lead to a fundamental restructuring of the sector, especially between traditional owners and mining companies, and pave the way for a more equal partnership, said a spokesman for PKKP Aboriginal Corporation.
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BHP Group Ltd.
According to the report, companies are no longer dependent on gagging and uncertainty remains as to how companies will encourage such measures.
The investigation also revealed serious shortcomings in the laws protecting the heritage of indigenous peoples.
RCMP faced the perfect storm without support or protection from anywhere, he said.
Chairman of the Board of Inquiry.
Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest mine in terms of market value, said in September that its CEO
will step down after more than four years in this position and give in to investor pressure to hold his senior executives to account. The other two executives, including
the head of his iron ore division, has also retired.
The rock shelters of the mineral-rich Australian Pilbara region, which supplies more than half of the world’s overseas iron ore trade, contain a cemetery with artefacts indicating that they were inhabited by humans more than 46,000 years ago.
In Australia there are less than a handful of famous Aboriginal sites as old as this, the chairman of the Puutu Kunti Curram Land Committee.
said earlier this year.
Rio Tinto, which did not break any law by destroying the land, apologized and admitted that its actions had undermined trust between the company and the indigenous landowners.
We are determined to learn from this exercise to ensure that the destruction of cultural property of such exceptional archaeological and cultural significance will never be repeated – President of Rio Tinto.
The investigation had raised questions about the calculation of a fair remuneration.
a law professor at the University of Monash, Australia, suggested that Rio Tinto could offer the PKKP an equity stake in the company, which would give the group the necessary leverage to focus on key cultural issues.
Earlier, Rio Tinto had reduced the bonuses of Messrs Jacques and Salisbury.
the head of the corporate relations department, but stakeholders have asked for additional measures to be taken.
The loss of premiums has been insufficient and inappropriate in connection with the destruction of irreplaceable cultural sites whose value cannot be estimated.
Janus Henderson Investors, head of the natural resources portfolio, said in September.
The miscommunication between Mr Jacques and his team was included in the chess catalogue submitted for review. Mr Jacques stated during the investigation that he did not see the evidence until the evening of 24 March. In May, the day the caves exploded, people learned about the cultural importance of the site.
Nature conservation problems are a source of frustration for miners and landowners. The management of contaminated sites can be difficult for mining companies planning large-scale projects in large areas with sites of varying cultural significance. At the same time, Aboriginal groups complain that rigid rules prevent new archaeological information from being considered once permission for conservation has been obtained.
We have developed our mining plans to protect and avoid these sites, but sometimes there are no easy answers, he said.
CEO of the Australian iron ore mining company Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.
The Committee stated that it had decided to continue the investigation and referred to the large amount of evidence still before the Committee and to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Among other recommendations made on Wednesday, the committee said Rio Tinto should repair rock shelters in the Zhuukan Gorge and work towards a permanent moratorium on mining in the area, which would also protect it from other miners.
Rio Tinto said it was already working with landowners on a rehabilitation programme and exploring ways to protect the area.
Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at [email protected]
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