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Rio Tinto Ceo, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, Resigns After A Scandal Involving The Destruction Of Ancient Caves In Australia

Rio Tinto Ceo, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, Resigns After A Scandal Involving The Destruction Of Ancient Caves In Australia

The CEO of Australian-British Rio Tinto, one of the world's largest mining companies, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, is stepping down after a scandal involving the destruction of historic sites in Western Australia, the company said.

To expand iron ore mining, Rio Tinto in March destroyed ancient aboriginal caves in the Juukan gorge, which are considered evidence of human habitation on the continent 46,000 years ago — during the last ice age. The destruction of these historical sites caused a wide public response.

"What happened to Juukan was wrong, and we intend to do everything possible to ensure that the destruction of such heritage sites of archaeological and cultural significance will not be repeated during the work of Rio Tinto," said the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company, Simon Thompson, quoted in a press release of the company.

"By common consent, Jean-Sebastian Jacques will step down as CEO of the company. The process of finding a successor is underway. Jean-Sebastian Jacques will remain in his position until a successor is appointed or until March 31, 2021, whichever comes first, " the statement said.

For the same reason, several other top managers will leave the company.

Rio Tinto is one of the world's leading mining and metallurgical companies by market capitalization. It operates in 40 countries, mines iron ore, copper, coal, uranium, aluminum, diamonds, and gold, and produces titanium dioxide.

By mutual agreement, J-S Jacques will step down from his role as an executive director and Chief Executive of the Group. A process to identify his successor is underway. J-S will remain in his role until the appointment of his successor or 31 March 2021, whichever is earlier. This will ensure business continuity to maintain the strong performance of the Group’s global operations during COVID-19.

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