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Methodist Church reportedly considering ditching stakes in Rio Tinto following sexual harassment report

by Sophie Drew

The investment body of the Methodist Church is reportedly considering ditching stakes in mining companies.

The move comes after a report was published exposing widespread sexual harassment, bullying and racism at Rio Tinto. 

The mining giant’s internal report showed that the issues were rife “throughout the company.”

21 women had reported actual or attempted rape or sexual assault in the last five years. 

Last year they admitted to blowing up 46,000 year-old rock shelters in Australia, containing priceless, sacred Aboriginal artefacts. 

The company - one of the biggest on the FTSE 100 - claimed they had permission to destroy the area 

Epworth Investment Management manages £1.3 billion of assets on behalf of the Methodist Church.

They boast a stake of almost £10 million, but are reportedly considering dumping their shares. 

The Church of England's pension board has previously criticised Rio Tinto for the destruction of Aboriginal artefacts. At the time, an ethics director on the board labelled the response as "inadequate".

They no longer held shares in the company at the time the report was produced, but held a small share prior to the destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves. 

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