This could be yet another example of Rio Tinto displaying its “compassion towards communities”‘ – while failing to change anything to suit its bottom line.
Bill Champion, managing director of Rio Tinto’s 76%-owned Coal & Allied subsidiary in Australia’s Hunter Valley, last week appeared to side with residents, mightily disturbed at the prospect of a doubling in the company’s coal output. “If I was a resident…I’d have to scratch my head and ask how the valley is going to be able to respond…given the stresses already placed on infrastructure”, commented Mr Champion.
Nonetheless, after meeting with civil servants prior to Coal & Allied’s AGM on 15th April, Mr Champion said he thought the company could still “have its cake and eat it”: a veiled reference, it would seem, to the company’s intention of completing mine expansion, whatever local people may think about it.