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March 2, 2021, 9:26 p.m. EST

Rio Tinto chairman to step down amid scandal

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By Rhiannon Hoyle

SYDNEY--Rio Tinto PLC said its chairman would step down amid the fallout from its destruction of two ancient rock shelters in Australia that have already cost the miner's former CEO and two other executives their jobs.

Rio Tinto said Simon Thompson won't seek re-election in 2022 and that independent directors Sam Laidlaw and Simon McKeon will jointly lead the search for a successor.

The company's successes have been "overshadowed by the destruction of the Juukan Gorge rock shelters at the Brockman 4 operations in Australia and, as chairman, I am ultimately accountable for the failings that led to this tragic event," said Mr. Thompson.

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com

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