Rio Tinto may have to pay $250 million in Juukan Gorge compensation, native title chief warns
Rio Tinto could have to pay up to $250 million in compensation to the traditional owners of Juukan Gorge, according to the chief executive of the National Native situs slot online Title Council.
Council chief executive Jamie Lowe said that the sites destroyed for the expansion of Rio Tinto’s Brockman 4 iron ore mine had an economic value of $135 million.
He said it was difficult to quantify the cultural loss of the destruction of the 46,000-year-old sites, but said the High Court last year had awarded compensation to native title holders for the loss of their spiritual connection to their land.
“If the economic loss is $135 million, then you could double that to $250 million already,” he said.
Committee chair Warren Entsch also highlighted the cultural value of the rock shelters, telling ABC Perth of the deeply emotional experience of visiting the site and seeing the distress of its traditional owners.