The world’s third biggest mining company has revealed that two ancient caves in Western Australia, first occupied 43,000 years ago by Aboriginal people, were blown up in May to gain access to an extra eight million tonnes of iron ore.
Rio Tinto, which last year exported 327.4 million tonnes from Australia, apologised to an Australian parliamentary inquiry yesterday for its destruction of the archaeologically precious Juukan caves.
The caves in the iron ore-rich Pilbara region, about 800 miles north of Perth, were ranked as being of “the highest archaeological significance” by an archeological survey given to the mining group six years ago. According to carbon dating, the caves were occupied by Aboriginal people 43,000 years ago. Senior executives from the group confirmed at yesterday’s
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