MELBOURNE, May 4 (Reuters) – Rio Tinto Ltd is under “immense pressure” from the U.S. government to develop its Resolution copper project in the United States, given the copper it holds accounts for a quarter of all U.S. reserves, its chair Dominic Barton said on Thursday.
Copper is vital for the transition to green energy but the project in Arizona is opposed by all of the state’s tribal councils, including the San Carlos Apache because it would destroy a heritage site of religious significance.
Rio Tinto has pledged to follow United Nations principles that require full consent from Indigenous groups for mining on traditional lands in the wake of its destruction of significant rock shelters in Western Australia for an iron ore mine in 2020.
“We are getting immense pressure to proceed because of the copper reserves that are there,” Barton told shareholders at Rio Tinto’s Australian shareholders meeting.
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