- Mining group Rio Tinto said it had missed various opportunities to prevent it from blasting two ancient cave sites in Australia held sacred by indigenous people.

In a submission to an Australian parliamentary inquiry into the incident, the company conformed it had received legal approval to destroy the Juukan rockshelters in May, but had failed to meet its own internal standards.

'The destruction of the Juukan rockshelters should not have occurred and I have unreservedly apologised to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people,' chief executive J-S Jacques said said.

'As a first priority our aim is to strengthen our partnership with the PKKP. That remains our focus.'

'We have also taken actions to strengthen governance, controls and approvals on heritage matters.'

At 1:38pm: [LON:RIO] Rio Tinto PLC share price was -43.75p at 4761.75p

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