CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques will lose around $3.5 million in bonuses due to the destruction of Australian indigenous sacred sites to access iron ore, the mining company said on Monday.
The Anglo-Australia mining giant announced that three executives would lose bonuses following the destruction in May of two 46,000-year-old rock shelters in Juukan George in Western Australia state.
Chris Salisbury and Simone Niven will each lose around $700,000 in bonuses. The full details of their financial penalties will be revealed in the company’s remuneration report next year.
The company has apologized to the rock shelters’ traditional owners, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people.
“The destruction of the rock shelters should not have happened and we are absolutely committed to listening, learning and changing,” Rio Tinto said in a statement.
Rio Tinto concluded in an internal review that there was “no single root cause or error that directly resulted in the destruction of the rock shelters.”
“The board review concluded that while Rio Tinto had obtained legal authority to impact the Juukan rock shelters, it fell short of the standards and internal guidance that Rio Tinto sets for itself over and above its legal obligations,” a company statement said.
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