An article in the November 1, 2018, Phoenix New Times, uncovers yet another in a long series of dirty tricks played by Rio Tinto in their quest to strongarm government officials and other decisionmakers into supporting their plans to destroy Oak Flat and another 7,000 acres of public lands in the Tonto National Forest.
The Phoenix New Times learned that a Rio Tinto lobbyist met with a deputy Director of the Arizona State Parks Department to discuss the “donation” of land to the Parks department. Around the same time as the meeting, the state agency declined to take part in meetings to discuss Rio Tinto’s plans to dump 15 billion tons of toxic mine tailings across the street from Boyce Thompson Arboretum, which is owned by the Parks department. The Director of the Arboretum opposes the waste dump site.
The State Parks Director, Sue Black, was recently fired after a series of missteps have come to light.
This continues a long practice of Rio Tinto consorts with decision-makers of disreputable character including the first sponsor of Rio Tinto’s land exchange bill, former Congressman Rick Reni who was convicted on felony charges in part due to his relationship with Rio Tinto.
For more on the story, go to the Phoenix New Times article.