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Fund manager Hermes has criticised mining company Rio Tinto over its lack of progress on board diversity ahead of its annual general meeting Wednesday.

Hermes said it intended to oppose the re-election of Rio’s chairman Jan du Plessis as chair of the nominations committee since only two of Rio’s board directors are now women, following the appointment of three male non-executive directors this year.

“Due to the lack of diversity and a credible plan to address this imperative issue, and consistent with our voting policy, Hermes EOS recommends voting against the re-election of Jan du Plessis in his capacity as chair of the nominations committee,” the London-based company said in a statement.

Rio’s AGM is seeking shareholder approval for three new non-executive directors, David Constable, Sam Laidlaw and Simon Henry.

Mr Constable is a Canadian citizen, while Mr Laidlaw and Mr Henry are both British.

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