By Celine Lai
In May 2020 a sacred site of major archaeological and cultural significance was callously destroyed by Rio Tinto in the expansion of an iron ore mine in Western Australia. The site, a cave, showed 46,000 years of continual occupation and provided a 4,000-year-old genetic link to present-day traditional owners. The ABC reports that Rio knew about the significance of the caves. In the wake of Rio’s cynical disregard for yet another aspect of cultural and environmental significance, it is essential that climate activists continue to expose the truth about Rio Tinto’s vandalism.
Chris Salisbury is currently a board member of the Minerals Council of Australia and chairs its Workforce and Innovation Committee, which is supposed to provide strategic direction to the mining industry. In response to the cave’s damage, Indigenous leaders are calling for Chris Salisbury’s resignation. We have to keep up the pressure.
Rio Tinto’s annual million-dollar membership of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) is contributing to MCA’s destructive agenda which is set on expanding coal and gas mining in Australia.
The MCA has openly declared that it wants thermal coal projects despite the fact that such projects are not in alignment with the 2015 Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 2050. Rio Tinto Chairman Simon Thompson has declared that this is a “minor matter”.
You can help pressure Rio Tinto in one or two ways.
- Download and use or amend this form letter and email it to Simon Thompson the Chairman of Rio Tinto <Simon.Thompson@riotinto.com> and to Chris Salisbury, the Chief Executive, < firstname.lastname@example.org>. Please ask your friends, family, and acquaintances to also send the letter, and share it on social media, as the more that are sent, the better.
- Take out your iPhone or iPad or tablet and get someone to record you saying a 20 or 30 second message out loud, asking Rio Tinto to leave the Minerals Council of Australia. You can then put your recording into DropBox or another free file-sharing area and generate a share-link to send to Celine Lai at email@example.com . The videos will be put into a Play-list on the Save Our Earth – S.O.E. YouTube channel, and the play-list link sent to Rio Tinto when there are a lot of messages.