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Rio Tinto Launches Internal Review After Blasting Ancient Rock Shelters In WA

Rio Tinto Plc (RTNTF,RIO,RIO.L, RTPPF) has launched a board-led review of its heritage management processes following criticism of its destruction of two ancient rock shelters in Western Australia last month.

The Anglo-Australian mining giant said the review will be conducted by its non-executive director Michael L'Estrange and will seek input from Rio Tinto employees, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people or PKKP.

The review will be informed through engagement with Indigenous leaders, Traditional Owners and subject matter experts, the company said in a statement.

Simon Thompson, chairman of Rio Tinto, said, ".... I would like to apologise to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people. The decision to conduct a board-led review of events at Juukan Gorge reflects our determination to learn lessons from what happened and to make any necessary improvements to our heritage processes and governance."

The company stated that the review will focus on events at Juukan Gorge and appraise Rio Tinto's internal heritage standards, procedures, reporting and governance, and will examine the company's relationship and communications with the PKKP.

The review will commence immediately, with the final report targeted by October 2020.

Last month, Rio detonated explosives in an area of the Juukan Gorge, destroying 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site in Western Australia.

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