Mining company blasts 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site in Australia – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – May 28, 2020)

(Kitco News) A deliberate mining blast reportedly destroyed one of the oldest known Aboriginal heritage sites in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto, Anglo-Australian mining giant, was given permission to carry out the blasts back 2013 under Section 18 of the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act to expand its iron ore mine in Western Pilbara.

Over the weekend, Rio Tinto detonated explosives near the Juukan Gorge caves — culturally significant sites that date back more than 46,000 years.

“In 2013, Ministerial consent was granted to allow Rio Tinto to conduct activity at the Brockman 4 mine that would impact Juukan 1 and Juukan 2 rock shelters,” ABC quoted a company spokesperson as saying on Tuesday.
“[Rio Tinto] has, where practicable, modified its operations to avoid heritage impacts and to protect places of cultural significance to the group.”

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