Mining giant Rio Tinto will face continued scrutiny after a scathing parliamentary report into the destruction of the ancient Juukan Gorge caves.
The Northern Australia Committee has tabled its interim report into the “inexcusable” blast, having heard months of evidence from key players and Indigenous groups.
Rio blew up the 46,000-year-old rock shelters in Western Australia’s Pilbara region in May to extract $188 million worth of high-grade iron ore.
The traditional owners, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people, were left devastated and the incident sparked global outrage.
The cross-party committee has called upon Rio to negotiate compensation with the PKKP, reconstruct and remediate the site, and promise never to mine there.
It has also urged Rio to refrain from applying to destroy sites until WA’s heritage laws have been improved or stronger protocols are negotiated with traditional owners.
Labor Senator and committee member Pat Dodson said more sacred sites will be destroyed unless the report’s recommendations are followed.