In the area of the Juukan Strait in the resource-rich Pilbara region of the state of Western Australia, there were two cave systems containing artifacts that showed tens of thousands of years of continuous human occupation.
The May 24 demolition continued despite a seven-year war to protect the area, by local protection officials, Puutu Kunti Kurrama and the People of Pinikura.
“We respect our Puutu Kunti Kurrama and the People of Pinikura (PKKP),” Rio Tinto Iron Ore CEO Chris Salisbury said in a statement Sunday. Said.
“We apologize for the inconvenience we have caused. Our relationship with the PKKP is very important for Rio Tinto, who has worked together for many years.”
“We will continue to work with the PKKP to find out what is happening and strengthen our partnership. As urgency, we are reviewing the plans of all other sites in the Juukan Gorge region.”
According to 7News, Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura Aboriginal Corporation spokesperson Burchell Hayes said that Rio Tinto was said about the importance of the site last October.
“The high importance of the site was transferred to Rio Tinto by PKKPAC in March,” Hayes said. Said.
He said the group only learned about Rio Tinto’s intentions on May 15. CNN Business reached Rio Tinto to comment on Hayes’s comments and returned to the company statement.
Federal Home Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt added that “demolition should not have happened”, adding that he spoke personally to the traditional owners of the land.
“It’s incredibly important that this doesn’t happen again,” said a native Australian, Wyatt. Said.
“The Western Australian State Government should ensure that legislation and approval processes protect our Indigenous cultural heritage. In this case, it seems quite obvious that the legislation has failed.”
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the country’s first leader to apologize to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, who were forcibly taken from their parents by white Australians in the last century, Rio Tinto’s “institutional arrogance had robbed all Australians.”
“Juukan Gorge shelters [are] “Nine times bigger than Stonehenge, 23 times larger than the Colosseum and 75 times bigger than Machu Picchu.”
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