Mining giant Rio Tinto has faced the backlash of angry investors at the company’s annual general meeting in Perth this week.

It’s the company’s first shareholder meeting since it destroyed 46,000-year-old Indigenous rock shelters in Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region last year.

Shareholders were scathing of the company’s plans to grant big bonuses to top executives, with 60 per cent of shareholders in Australia and the UK voting against executive pay package, which included a payout for former chief executive Jean-Sebastian Jacques, who was in charge at the time of the incident.

The protest vote has been welcomed by traditional owners who said they were heartened by it.

“We are heartened and not surprised by the position taken by a number of shareholders seeking ongoing answers from Rio Tinto,” the PKKP group told the ABC, “as well as calls for sustained transparency and a demonstrated commitment to repairing and re-establishing the relationship between the PKKP and the company.”