In May, the minerals giant Rio Tinto decided to blow up the caves [containing sacred Aboriginal artifacts] to get at the riches below. But on Friday, it became clear that Australia’s most powerful export industry had met a force it could not bulldoze: the global movement for racial justice. The company announced that its chief executive, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, would step down after a shareholder revolt over its destruction of the prehistoric rock shelters in the Juukan Gorge, which are sacred to two Australian Aboriginal groups.
Two other top executives, Chris Salisbury and Simone Niven, will also leave the company, which is based in Britain and Australia. The three executives had part of their 2020 bonuses docked last month, but shareholders, arguing that the measure failed to hold the individuals responsible, called for harsher punishment. It was a rare admission that the mining industry, which has long propped up the Australian economy — often at the expense of traditional landowners — had gone too far.Executives to Step Down After Rio Tinto Destroys Sacred Australian Sites – The New York Times