MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Rio Tinto Ltd
said on Tuesday that it was ready to talk to stakeholders over allegations of human rights breaches at a giant copper mine in Bougainville that it formerly owned, after community members filed a complaint with the Australian government.
“We are ready to enter into discussions with the communities that have filed the complaint,” it said, adding it would also speak with current mine owners as well as the Bougainville and Papua New Guinea governments.
The stance marks a change from April, when Rio rebuffed a request by the same group for a review of health and safety concerns at the mine as a starting point for discussion around compensation and remediation.
It also highlights a different approach by Rio to social responsibility, after its destruction of sacred and historically significant rockshelters for an iron ore mine in Australia in May cost its chief executive