Board Chairman Simon Thompson said he would not stand for re-election in 2022. “As chairman, I am ultimately responsible for the mistakes that led to this tragic event,” the newspaper “Sydney Morning Herald” quoted the 61-year-old today.
In November, the boss and two other top managers of the Australian-British company resigned in the wake of the scandal. With this, Rio Tinto responded to the demolition of two significant indigenous sites in the Juukan Gorge for the extraction of iron ore in May 2020.
“While I am pleased with the progress we have made in many areas, the tragic events in Juukan Gorge are a source of personal sadness and regret and a clear violation of our values as a company,” said Thompson.
The age of the two sites in the Pilbara region in the northwest of the country was estimated to be 46,000 years. Its destruction had sparked a storm of indignation and led to a parliamentary investigation. The UNESCO chairman for the protection of cultural property, Peter Stone, had described the demolition as a “tragedy” and one of the worst destruction of cultural property in recent history.
The Australian state is extremely important to Rio Tinto because of its iron ore deposits. The company was founded in 1873 and is one of the largest mining companies in the world. In addition to iron ore, Rio Tinto also mines aluminum, gold, copper and diamonds, among other things.