A Miner Blew Up Ancient Human History. Now An Industry May Pay – by David Stringer, Matthew Burgess and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – June 30, 2020)


(Bloomberg) — Scraping away delicately at the reddish-brown earth of northwestern Australia’s vast Pilbara region, a team of archaeologists uncovered a record of life dating back more 40,000 years.

Buried in natural shelters at the base of a cliff were thousands of stone and wooden tools, the sharpened fibula bone of a kangaroo and braided strands of hair.

They worked quickly inside the Juukan Gorge rock shelters to recover the artefacts — and needed to. The team was a salvage squad, sent in with a tight deadline to excavate a site in the path of an encroaching iron ore mine and approved for destruction.

Blasts carried out in late May by Rio Tinto Group flattened the features in the central Hamersley Range, more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) northeast of Perth.

Now the fallout is mounting for the London-based producer, and new risks are being posed to an iron ore sector that produces Australia’s top export, forecast to generate earnings of A$100 billion ($69 billion) in the year ended June 30.

For the rest of this article: https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/a-miner-blew-up-ancient-human-history-now-an-industry-may-pay-1.1458877

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