Rio Tinto chief apologizes for blasting ancient caves as Australia starts inquiry

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Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques on Friday apologized for distress caused by Rio's destruction last month of two ancient and sacred Aboriginal caves in Western Australia, pledging full cooperation with an Australian government inquiry.
FILE PHOTO: Jean-Sebastien Jacques, CEO of Rio Tinto Group, pictured in London, Britain, February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -

"We are very sorry for the distress we have caused the PKKP in relation to Juukan Gorge and our first priority remains rebuilding trust with the PKKP," Jacques said in a statement, referring to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people.

The apology marked Jacques' first public comments on the event since it occurred more than two weeks ago. Head of iron ore Chris Salisbury had previously expressed the miner's remorse,…
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