Rio Chief Prompts Howls Of Laughter Amid Its Silence On Winu Copper Discovery

By Barry Fitzgerald | More Articles by Barry Fitzgerald

Rio chief’s concerns about lack of community trust prompt howls of laughter amid its silence on Winu copper discovery

A special thanks to Rio Tinto’s iron ore boss Chris Salisbury for providing a much-needed laugh for the exploration industry in what has been a tough year.

Speaking at the recent St Barbara’s Day memorial lunch put on by the WA Mining Club, the 30-year Rio veteran solemnly declared that the mining industry has a trust problem.

“In an industry that is built on the goodwill and trust of governments and communities, we need to positively engage with our neighbours and the broader community to tell our story better,” he said.

He went on. “When you put all these things together, and as much as it pains me to say it, many people don’t trust our industry.

“Across many parts of the population in Australia, people are not aware of the contribution we make. They think we are not giving back as much as we should, or can.

“They think we don’t care about the environment, and don’t know how hard we actually work to minimise our impact.

“They think – and here I have to agree with them – that we need to be a more diverse, inclusive and progressive industry.”

It was hackneyed stuff from the mining leader. But why has it caused laughs around the WA exploration industry?

No prizes for guessing that many in the audience saw the ironic humour in what Salisbury was saying given Rio’s decision to say just about nothing on its Winu copper discovery in WA’s Paterson province. Read more + 

Barry Fitzgerald

About Barry Fitzgerald

Barry Fitzgerald has covered the resources industry for 30 years. His column highlights the issues, opportunities and challenges for small and mid-cap resources stocks - most recently penned his column for The Australian newspaper and before that, The Age.

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