Mining Firm Rio Tinto Destroys 46,000-Year-Old Aboriginal Site In Australia In Order To Expand Iron Ore Mine

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Mining Firm Rio Tinto Destroys 46,000-Year-Old Aboriginal Site In Australia In Order To Expand Iron Ore Mine

There has been outrage and anger in Australia after mining corporation Rio Tinto destroyed a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal settlement in the Western Australian region of Pilbara.


The Juukan Gorge Caves were the oldest continually existing human habitation in Australia and dated back to at least the last ice-age. The mining giant, worth billions of dollars and one of the world's largest companies, said it acted entirely within the law. It is thought the destruction was carried out in order to expand an existing Iron Ore mine.


They had been given permission to do so in 2013 before the true importance of the archaeological site had been realised, this however did not halt their actions.


Aboriginal tribe representative, John Ashburton, said of Rio Tinto's actions:


"There are less than a handful of known Aboriginal sites in Australia that are as old as this one ... its importance cannot be underestimated. Our people are deeply troubled and saddened by the destruction of these rock shelters and are grieving the loss of connection to our ancestors as well as our land."


Rio Tinto also released a statement saying:


"We are sorry that the recently expressed concerns of the PKKP [the aboriginal people in the region] did not arise through the engagements that have taken place over many years under the agreement that governs our operations on their country."


Therefore, the ultimate blame not only lies with Rio Tinto itself but also the Australian government, who has once again failed to stand up for the Aboriginal community.


This is indeed not the only cultural site that is facing a battle to be preserved. The Djab Wurrung people in the state of Victoria are fighting to preserve sacred trees which are set to be pulled down in order to develop a new highway, and in an area near Sydney campaigners are battling to preserve an archaeological site from the expansion of Sydney's light railway system.


The Aboriginal people of Australia have faced huge discrimination since Western colonisation and were long-held out of jobs and positions of power. Not only were the Aboriginal people facing the challenge of moving from a highly traditional lifestyle and entering a new modern world, they were also facing horrendous racism. Shockingly, Australian law did not recognise Aborigines as full citizens until a 1967 referendum on the matter.


Life expectancy for Aboriginal males is currently around 8 years lower than white-Australians, mostly as a result of these individuals facing socio-economic challenges.

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Thinking Humanity: Mining Firm Rio Tinto Destroys 46,000-Year-Old Aboriginal Site In Australia In Order To Expand Iron Ore Mine
Mining Firm Rio Tinto Destroys 46,000-Year-Old Aboriginal Site In Australia In Order To Expand Iron Ore Mine
There has been outrage and anger in Australia after mining corporation Rio Tinto destroyed a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal settlement in the Western Australian region of Pilbara. The Juukan Gorge Caves were the oldest continually existing human habitation in Australia and dated back to at least the last ice-age. The mining giant, worth billions of dollars and one of the world's largest companies, said it acted entirely within the law. It is thought the destruction was carried out in order to expand an existing Iron Ore mine. There has been outrage and anger in Australia after mining corporation Rio Tinto destroyed a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal settlement in the Western Australian region of Pilbara.
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