Canberra has asked Rio Tinto to appoint an Australian as its next CEO as investors and officials push the mining group to focus more on the country that generates the bulk of its profits.

Order Josh Freidenberg, Treasurer of Australia, affiliated with the Anglo-Australian company the decision To replace French CEO Jean Sebastian Jacques and other executives for their role in destroying a 46,000-year-old indigenous site.

This coincides with the Australian government push to tighten rules for foreign investment and protect strategic industries, given concerns about Deterioration Relationships with China and the Impact of Covid-19 on Supply Chains.

“Rio Tinto is one of the greatest companies in the world with a proud Australian history,” said Mr Frydenberg on Monday. “With the vast majority of its revenue coming from Australia, it is appropriate to once again see an Australian as the CEO along with the majority of the board members.”

“It was a constructive conversation,” said Mr Frydenberg, whose comments were first. mentioned By the Australian Financial Review, for a phone call with Rio President Simon Thompson about it on Friday.

Potential Australian job candidates include Sandeep Biswas and Mark Cutefani, chief executives of Newcrest Mining and Anglo American, respectively, according to bankers and analysts. Nev Bauer, former CEO of the Fortescue Metals Group, has also been described as the successor to Mr. Jack.

Australian politicians and pension funds have criticized the Rio Council’s apparent separation from the cultural heritage of Pelpara – a region rich in iron ore that contributes 90 percent of its profits – after the Strait of Gookan. Bangs.

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“No one in that painting has any real understanding of the indigenous groups who own the country in which they work,” Ben White, a treasurer of the Western Australian state government, told the nation’s media. “This, to me, screams risky, and that’s something that astonishes me and hasn’t been captured over the years.”

Thompson indicated that the appointment of the CEO of Rio will be based on skills and experience, not nationality. But the London-based mining group is sensitive to government and investor claims that it has lost contact with Aboriginal communities in Australia.

About 70 percent of Rio’s shares are held by investors outside of Australia. Its largest shareholder is the Chinese state-run aluminum producer, Chinalco, which owns roughly 15 percent of the shares of the London-listed miner, and is unlikely to welcome political interference in the succession process.

“We certainly hope there will be strong candidates from Australia,” Thompson told the Financial Times in an interview on Friday, ahead of Friedenberg’s comments on Monday. “But it will be a matter of making sure that we have someone who brings true awareness, understanding and a strong sense of the value and importance of addressing these major societal and heritage issues.”

Rio, which was run by Australian Sam Walsh prior to Mr Jack’s tenure, has appointed Simon McCune, an Australian non-executive director, as a senior independent director in an effort to appease critics. It will also create a new social performance function to try to rebuild its relationship with Indigenous communities.

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AustralianSuper, which manages $ 182 billion ($ 132.5 billion) in pension funds, said the appointment of Mr McCune was a first step in ensuring that “the Rio board of directors focuses more on Australia and has more sensitivity to the nation and its cultural identity.”

There has been outrage that Rio has been headquartered in the UK since the deal that created the company – the 1995 merger between RTZ in London and CRA Ltd. of Australia.

Canberra imposed few conditions on the deal – other than that a third of the directors must be Australian – and the center of gravity of the new entity drifted toward London.

When BHP announced plans to merge with London-listed Billiton in 2001, Canberra made sure it never happened again, and imposed strict rules on the deal, including that the headquarters and CEO must be based in Australia.

Stephen Kirchner, director of the Trade and Investment Program at the Center for American Studies at the University of Sydney, said Rio’s demand for an Australian chief executive was a new development in line with a more protectionist push taking hold globally.

“It is very strange to see that the government is commenting on the nationality of the CEO who will be appointed,” said Martina Linenloick, a professor at Macquarie School of Business.