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Rio Tinto has appointed a new non-executive director, taking effect from October 25.

A dual Canadian-Australian national, James ‘Joc’ O’Rourke will stand for election at Rio Tinto’s annual general meeting in 2024.

O’Rourke previously acted in a variety of roles at the Mosaic Company, a phosphate and potash miner. These roles included chief executive officer (CEO), executive vice president of operations, chief operating officer, and president.

Prior to his tenure at the Mosaic Company, O’Rourke worked at Barrick Gold as president of its Australia Pacific division. In this role, he led 10 gold and copper mines in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

He is currently an independent non-executive director of maintenance company the Toro Company and lumber company Weyerhaeuser.

“I am pleased to be joining Rio Tinto and excited about the long-term strategy it is pursuing to help enable the energy transition and to thrive in a decarbonising world,” O’Rourke said.

“I will be working closely with my fellow board members to support this and to help realise the significant opportunities that lie in front of the company.”

A way in which Rio Tinto is supporting decarbonisation efforts it through its recent memorandum of understanding with Yindjibarndi Energy.

Rio Tinto chairman Dominic Barton welcomed O’Rourke to the company.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Joc to the Rio Tinto board,” he said. “He is widely respected for his deep knowledge of the mining industry and passion for improving safety and operational performance. I look forward to the valuable contribution Joc will make as we shape an even stronger Rio Tinto for the future.”