Rio Tinto names ex-minister Ben Wyatt as non-executive director

(Alliance News) - Rio Tinto PLC on Friday said it has appointed Ben Wyatt as a non-executive ...

Alliance News 4 June, 2021 | 8:18AM
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(Alliance News) - Rio Tinto PLC on Friday said it has appointed Ben Wyatt as a non-executive director who will join the board on September 1.

The Anglo-Australian miner said Wyatt brings "extensive public policy, regulatory and international trade experience" to the board from his time as Treasurer & Aboriginal Affairs Minister in the Western Australian government. Wyatt also holds a non-executive director position at Woodside Petroleum Ltd.

The Financial Times said it was the first time that Rio Tinto has appointed an indigenous Australian to its board. The move follows the public outcry and regulatory scrutiny the miner incurred when it blew up a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site to expand the Pilbara iron ore mine in Western Australia. This resulted in Rio's chief executive resigning and its chair saying he will stand down in 2022.

According to the Financial Times, Rio Tinto derives around 90% of its profit from its iron ore extraction in the Pilbara region of Australia.

Chair Simon Thompson said: "I am delighted to welcome Ben to the Rio Tinto Board. With family links to the Pilbara and an impressive track record in public life, Ben's knowledge of public policy, finance, international trade and Indigenous affairs will significantly add to the depth of knowledge on the board at a time when we are seeking to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders in Australia and around the world."

Wyatt said: "I have deep respect for the resources sector in Australia and have long been impressed with the professionalism and commitment demonstrated by Rio Tinto. I was deeply saddened and disappointed by the events at Juukan Gorge but I am convinced that Rio Tinto is committed to changing its approach to cultural heritage issues and restoring its reputation, particularly in Australia and Western Australia.

"I am looking forward to working with the Board in building on the momentum for change generated by the new leadership team."

Rio Tinto shares were trading up 0.1% at 6,178.81 pence each in London on Friday morning.

By Scarlett Butler; scarlettbutler@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
Rio Tinto PLC 5,926.00
Woodside Petroleum Ltd 22.34

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