Mining firm Rio Tinto sorry for destroying Aboriginal caves (BBC.com – May 31, 2020)

https://www.bbc.com/

Mining giant Rio Tinto has apologised for blowing up 46,000-year-old Aboriginal caves in Western Australia dating back to the last Ice Age.

The Juukan Gorge caves, in the Pilbara region, were destroyed last Sunday as Rio Tinto expanded an iron ore project agreed with the authorities. Many prehistoric artefacts have been found at the remote heritage site.

“We are sorry for the distress we have caused,” said Chris Salisbury, the firm’s iron ore chief executive. “We pay our respects to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People (PKKP),” he said. The PKKP are the traditional owners of the site.

“We will continue to work with the PKKP to learn from what has taken place and strengthen our partnership. As a matter of urgency, we are reviewing the plans of all other sites in the Juukan Gorge area.”

Artefacts found there include a belt made from human hair, analysis of which showed a direct link going back 4,000 years between the PKKP and the prehistoric cave-dwellers.

For the rest of this article: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-52869502

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