In May 2020, Rio Tinto destroys a 46,000-year-old sacred site at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara, Australia. This is done despite warnings from local Indigenous people and archaeologists of its cultural and historical significance. Following the global outrage over this, Rio Tinto’s CEO and two other executives are forced to resign. Meanwhile, LMN and 34 other organisations call on the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark to strip Rio Tinto of its human rights ranking.
While Rio Tinto’s own timeline proudly states that it became “the first mining company in Australia to embrace Indigenous people’s land rights, committing [them] to the standards expected by host communities and Indigenous groups,” the destruction at Juukan Gorge is noticeably absent.