Rio Tinto CEO, iron ore boss step down over Juukan Gorge cave scandal – by Gerard Cockburn and Rebecca Le May ( – September 11, 2020)

Rio Tinto has succumbed to the pressures of a shareholder revolt over its scandalous decision to destroy ancient Indigenous heritage sites in Western Australia, with its chief executive and two other top corporates stepping down.

In an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Friday, Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said he would leave “by mutual agreement” but remain in the top job until a successor was found or March 31, whichever was earlier.

Iron ore chief Chris Salisbury has stepped down immediately but will be paid until December 31 when the head of corporate relations Simone Niven will depart after “completing an orderly transition of her responsibilities”.

Rio Tinto blew up two caves at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia’s Pilbara region in a bid to extract an estimated $135 million worth of iron ore as it expanded its Brockman 4 mine in May.

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