Rio Tinto may have to stop mining in Aboriginal Juukan area

Rio Tinto may have to stop mining in Aboriginal Juukan area

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The Australian parliament has released an interim report about the destruction of Aboriginal sacred sites. The parliament has not set an amount for compensation to be paid by Australia-based miner Rio Tinto as expected earlier, but has recommended the company to ensure a full reconstruction of the Juukan rockshelters and remediation of the site at its own expense. Rio Tinto had caused destruction at the Aboriginal sacred sites, the Juukan rockshelters, in May this year, trying to extract iron ore.

The parliament’s report also stated that a major legislative reform should be implemented to prevent this kind of destruction happening again. According to the report, the Western Australian government should place a moratorium on mining activities in the area until the new legislation is implemented.

The parliament’s report recommends the Australian government should legislate a prohibition on agreements that restrict Traditional Owners from publicly raising concerns about heritage protection or exercising their rights under heritage legislation. It also recommended the government to implement stricter laws on the protection of aboriginal areas.

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