San Carlos Apache Tribe urging Rio Tinto to protect their sacred Oak Flat site.
We speak with Conservation Hero Roger Featherstone of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition on the ongoing battle between the San Carlos Apache and Rio Tinto subsidiary Resolution Copper.
In December 2014, President Barack Obama signed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which would transfer land sacred to the Apache in Arizona to Resolution Copper Mine [RCM], a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.
In 2020, Rio Tinto destroyed Juukon Gorge, a 46000-year-old rock shelter in Australia. An act, that received international condemnation and a shareholder revolt that resulted in the ousting of then CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques and two other executives.
In response, Chairman of Rio Tinto, Simon Thompson released a statement saying:
"We are determined to ensure that the destruction of a heritage site of such exceptional archaeological and cultural significance never occurs again at a Rio Tinto operation,"
Despite being added to the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Forest Service in March 2016, Rio Tinto is pressing on with its plan to mine the site despite protests from the San Carlos Apache Tribe and Arizona Mining Reform Coalition and its members.