Last month, the chief executive officer of mining giant Rio Tinto (LSE:RIO) stepped down, along with two other senior executives at the firm. Their heads rolled because of shareholder and public outrage over Rio Tinto’s destruction of an ancient Aboriginal site, below which was valuable iron ore.
The company blew up the 46,000-year-old caves in Western Australia, having long known of their huge cultural and archaeological importance. The local community had been battling the miner for seven years in a bid to protect the site. In response to the outcry that followed its destruction, in a tone-deaf move, the board simply reduced the executives’ short-term bonuses.
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