The disgraced former chief govt of Rio Tinto was handed a 20% pay rise to £7.2m for final yr, regardless of overseeing the destruction of the sacred 46,000-year-old rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia.
Jean-Sébastien Jacques agreed to step down from the mining firm “by mutual agreement” with Rio Tinto’s board after the Juukan Gorge scandal final yr, however the ousted mining boss will nonetheless take house his greatest ever pay packet for his time as chief govt.
On prime of the £7.2m pay for final yr Jacques, who stepped down on 1 January, will take house £519,000 for his remaining 5 months of unworked discover interval this yr, and £215,000 for his unused go away.
The choice to explode the rock shelters within the Pilbara area of Western Australia, which had been extremely vital to the realm’s Aboriginal conventional house owners, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people, was taken to assist the Anglo-Australian miner entry higher high quality iron ore deposits.
It led to an outcry from Indigenous Australian teams and buyers who denounced the board’s choice to dock Jacques’ pay by £1m as insufficient, and to requires Jacques to be eliminated as chief govt.
Jacques was changed initially of the yr by Rio Tinto’s former chief monetary officer, Jakob Stausholm. Stausholm stated the corporate has been “working to revive belief with the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura individuals”.
“We’re additionally creating further measures to strengthen our partnerships with conventional house owners in Australia, together with a dedication to modernise and enhance agreements within the Pilbara, house to our iron ore enterprise,” he stated.
In Rio Tinto’s annual report, the board stated Jacques’ windfall was largely because of the vital enhance within the firm’s share value after he grew to become chief govt of the miner in 2016. The corporate’s market worth has greater than tripled within the final 5 years, to greater than £78.4bn, and for 2020 it handed shareholders a file payout of £9bn, the highest in the company’s 148-year history.
Rio Tinto’s chairman, Simon Thompson, stated that permitting the destruction of the Juukan Gorge was “a breach of each our values and the belief positioned in us” by the “conventional house owners of the land on which we function”.
“Within the months and years to return, we’re decided to be taught the teachings from Juukan Gorge, to rebuild the belief that has been misplaced, and to re-establish our management in environmental and social efficiency,” he stated.
The Australasian Centre for Company Accountability (ACCR) stated Rio Tinto’s dealing with of the catastrophe “raises extra questions in regards to the health of Rio Tinto’s present board”.
The group has referred to as on buyers to “maintain Thompson and different board members accountable” and demand on “crucial, constructive change to the corporate’s board composition in order that the duty of rebuilding neighborhood trustcan start in earnest”.