The new boss of Rio Tinto is under pressure to scrap controversial plans for a mine in Arizona that would destroy an area sacred to Native Americans.
Campaigners warn it could be a repeat of a scandal in Australia that threw the firm into crisis. Rio sparked global outrage after it blew up two 46,000-year-old Aboriginal caves in the Juukan Gorge to expand an iron ore mine in May last year.
Within months its chief executive, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, and two other top bosses had been forced to resign.
Rio’s new head, former finance director Jakob Stausholm, has been urged to cancel plans for a copper mine in the south-west US state of Arizona, in an area sacred to Native Americans who live on the nearby San Carlos Apache reserve.
Rio’s pledge not to repeat its mistakes at Juukan Gorge, which landed it with the nickname ‘Rio TNT’, is about to be put to the test. The US Forest Service has said it will release a final environmental assessment on the Resolution Copper mine this month after an eight-year process.