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Deanna Kemp

Recently, mining giant Rio Tinto disturbed another ancient rock shelter in Australia’s Pilbara during a routine blast designed to ‘mimic’ the natural environment. This time, the company announced its transgression before it hit the headlines, presumably to avoid the kind of public outrage it faced after the Juukan Gorge incident in May 2020. What compelled Rio Tinto to admit wrongdoing, and to what effect? Does this pre-emptive mea culpa signal a new corporate sensitivity to Aboriginal culture and heritage, or is it a strategy to placate the Australian public so mining can continue? Analysing the factors that both enable and constrain mining on Indigenous peoples’ lands is the focus of Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh’s book Indigenous Peoples and Mining: A global perspective.

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