Monthly Archives: March 2014

Tom Albanese – blood on your hands

Tom AlbaneseOn 6th March Tom Albanese, the former Rio Tinto CEO, was appointed CEO of Vedanta Resources, replacing M S Mehta. The newspapers are billing his appointment as an attempt to ‘polish the rough edges off [Anil] Agarwal’s Vedanta’ and to save the company from its current crisis of share price slumps, regulatory delays and widespread community resistance to their operations. This article looks at Albanese’s chequered history and the blood remaining on his hands as CEO of Rio Tinto – one of the most infamously abusive mining companies.

 

The Financial Times notes the importance of his ‘fixer’ role, noting that:

The quietly spoken and affable geologist is seen as someone willing to throw himself into engaging with governments and communities in some of the “difficult” countries where miners increasingly operate. That is something that Vedanta is seen as desperately needing – not least in India itself. Mr Albanese may lack experience in the country but one analyst says that can give him the opportunity to present himself as a clean pair of hands who will run mines to global standards…“There’s a big hill to climb there” Mr Albanese said.(1)

Continue reading

Copper Colonialism in Zambia – report launch, discussion and demonstration.

Copper Colonialism Sussex talk poster

You are warmly invited and encouraged to attend one of these events in the coming weeks to launch our groundbreaking report, and join us in developing much needed grassroots solidarity at our demonstration over Vedanta and the UK government’s neo-colonialism of Zambia for copper.

For a summary of the issues read our two page newsletter on Vedanta in Zambia HERE: Copper Colonialism newsletter

28th March 2014, 12:00 – 14:00 Official UK launch of Foil Vedanta’s groundbreaking report – Copper Colonialism: British Miner Vedanta KCM and the copper loot of Zambia which is currently shaking Zambia at Activism and Academia forum, room A04, Arts A, Sussex University, nr Brighton.

 

2nd April 2014, 18:00Official UK launch of Foil Vedanta’s groundbreaking report – Copper Colonialism: British Miner Vedanta KCM and the copper loot of Zambia, Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, London.

Speakers: Samarendra Das and Miriam Rose from Foil Vedanta
Cecil Gutzmore, Chair of Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum
Chaired by Esther Stanford-Xosei, Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe

 

9th April 2014, 12:00 – 14:00 Demonstration at Zambia High Commission in London, in solidarity with communities poisoned and exploited by Vedanta KCM in Zambia. Meet at Zambia High Commission, 2 Palace Gate, London W8 5NG with placards, banners and loud voices.

 

Speakers: authors of the report – Samarendra Das and Miriam Rose from Foil Vedanta

Following their visit to Zambia in December, the speakers report on tax evasion, environmental devastation, worker’s rights abuses, and the interests behind copper mining companies – from financiers to the UK government (DfID), as well as the suppressive role of NGOs as ‘parasites of the poor’.
The report published after their trip remains a top news item in Zambia today, and is changing the narrative of resource exploitation in Afrika created by corporate colonialism. Vedanta’s executives are battling to cover up the evidence presented.
Vedanta is a British FTSE 250 company known as the ‘world’s most hated mining company’ for their pattern of abuses and illegalities. It is 68% owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal.

Foil Vedanta is a London based international solidarity group, linking and supporting grassroots struggles against Vedanta, and carrying out cutting edge research on the company, and the UK’s role in global mining.

 

Copper Colonialism report shakes Zambia

Picture 310th March 2014.  Over the past few weeks Foil Vedanta’s report Copper Colonialism: British Miner Vedanta KCM and the copper loot of Zambia has been creating national level debate in Zambia and even globally. Vedanta’s executives have now flown out to Zambia four times in the last month to try to minimise the reputational damage caused by the evidence presented in the report, including tax evasion, misdeclaring of profits, environmental devastation and abuses of worker’s rights. Following a series of closed door meetings the Government of Zambia has now made a deal with Vedanta which claims that they will not sack any workers and will pay off debts. The truth in this claim in yet to be seen but many other issues remain unaddressed. Primarily, Zambians must demand that the Annual Reports of KCM and the government’s investigation into the company are made public.

This is a compilation of some of the articles covering these issues in chronological order, with a few key excerpts from each one.

Copper gate scandal deepens

03 February 2014. Zambian Daily Nation

Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has instituted investigations into a report by Foil Vedanta which shows that KCM made $360 million in the year 2013.

MUZ general secretary, Joseph Chewe confirmed having received the report which has since been given to the union technocrat team comprising director of research Charles Muchimba and his deputy Yoya Kumwenda.

The report contains various contentious issues such as how much KCM was bought by Foil Vedanta and how much it makes which the Zambian people do not know about.

The report also shows that KCM contaminated water supply in Helen and Shimulala communities which are located near KCM’s Nchanga mine in Chingola as well as the Mushishima stream which runs nearby.

Continue reading