Rio Tinto forming an indigenous advisory group

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Rio Tinto

On Tuesday, Miner Rio Tinto Ltd declared it would start work with the Indigenous advisory group as soon as it was established to review the best practice for managing cultural heritage sites in the mining industry.

The review will improve gaps in the company’s current protocols and provide a clear pathway to re-establish trust over time.

Rio chief executive Jakob Stausholm said an investor call the company was assigned to retrieving trust and that Rio would make further disclosures on its progress around heritage management.

At the start of a very long rebuilding trust process, Rio announced Chief Executive Debby Blakey of the Australian superannuation fund HESTA.

It will demand a long-term commitment to deep-seated cultural change and solid frameworks and methods to promote genuine, open, and ongoing partnerships with Indigenous communities.

Last year’s overthrow of the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge rock shelters in Western Australia for an iron ore mine sparked widespread public and investor confusion, guiding top executives’ exit and a company’s devotion to improving its approach.

Prepared disclosures involved measuring progress facing the company’s commitments, recognizing how traditional owners’ views were developing Rio’s obligations, and their opinions of how Rio was meeting them, as well as improving governance oversight.

Rio has also confirmed support for industry-wide improvements, affirmed the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ASCI), which was among an alliance of more than 20 investor groups pushing for action.

Investors will contract with Rio Tinto and other companies with cultural heritage expressions to conjecture how they manage these risks and measure facing commitments, ACSI Chief Executive Louise Davidson stated.

The miner declared it would start with interim reporting of these disclosures in the third quarter of 2021 and after that with yearly reporting, forward with periodic disclosure as relevant.

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