Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques steps down
The world’s second-largest metals and Mining Corporation, Rio Tinto has announced the resignation of its Group Chief Executive, Jean-Sebastien Jacques.
J-S Jacques has resigned alongside two other senior executives, who include the heads of the company’s iron ore and corporate relations divisions, following criticism over the destruction of the Juukan rock caves in May 2020, which are considered sacred among the Australian Aborigines.
The company, which is the world’s biggest iron ore miner has said a process to identify his successor is underway. Jacques will remain in his role until the appointment of his successor or 31 March 2021, whichever is earlier.
He has been Rio Tinto’s CEO since 2016.
Rio Tinto Chairman, Simon Thompson said in a statement “What happened at Juukan was wrong and we are determined to ensure that the destruction of a heritage site of such exceptional archaeological and cultural significance never occurs again at a Rio Tinto operation.”
According to a BBC report, the caves – seen as one of Australia’s most significant archaeological research sites – had shown evidence of continuous human habitation dating back 46,000 years.
They sat above about eight million tonnes of high-grade iron ore, with an estimated value of KSh. 10.4 billion ($96 million).