Tag Archives: Tuticorin

Vedanta excluded again by Norwegian pension fund

Norwegian Council onEthics report 201516th March 2017.  In its latest report, released on 9th March 2017, the Norwegian Council of Ethics has again excluded Vedanta from the Government Pension Fund’s investment universe. The report is an indictment of Vedanta’s pattern of operation at four subsidiaries in Odisha, Chhatisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Zambia, finding “numerous reports of Vedanta’s failure to comply with government requirements” and concluding that “there continues to be an unacceptable risk that your company will cause or contribute to severe environmental damage and serious or systematic human rights violations.”

The Fund first divested from the company in 2007 after Vedanta Sterlite’s operations in India — Thoothukudi, Chhattisgarh and Orissa — and in other parts of the world were found to be in violation of accepted human rights and environmental norms.

The Pension Fund is “the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund with shares in 9,000 companies. . .[and] 1.3 percent of the entire world’s listed equity, giving the decisions it takes to drop or reinstate shareholdings or warn firms considerable weight among investors.”

Read the Council’s full assessment of Vedanta’s operations below. Continue reading

India, Zambia, London protest Vedanta’s AGM

Vedanta AGM 20165th August 2016  Protests have been held in India and Zambia in parallel with today’s AGM of British mining company Vedanta Resources’ at Ironmongers Hall, Barbican, London. Inside the AGM dissident shareholders asked incisive questions submitted by Zambian villagers who are suing Vedanta in the UK for twelve years of polluted water, as well as displaced farmers who were never compensated for their land in Lanjigarh, Odisha, India and accuse Vedanta of murdering and harassing them with state collusion. A loud protest organised by Foil Vedanta took place outside the meeting, demanding that Vedanta subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines publish its hitherto secret annual accounts in Zambia, and accusing the company of pollution, human rights abuses and financial mismanagement in India and Afrika.

See the video of the London demo here… and of the Delhi demo here.

Please see a full report on proceedings inside the AGM bu London Mining Network entitled ‘Vedanta’s 2016 AGM: evidence, evasion and arguments‘.

and coverage in The Mining Journal,  the New International, and Reuters.

At Vedanta’s London AGM activists from Foil Vedanta interrupted the meeting asking incisive questions to the Vedanta board and gathered shareholders on behalf of the Zambian Copperbelt villagers living downstream of Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), who are demanding an end to twelve years of pollution by KCM, which has turned the Kafue into a ‘river of acid‘ and left them with no access to clean water. They asked why KCM has never submitted annual accounts in Zambia in accordance with national laws, and whether Vedanta’s deliberately obstructive approach to compensation cases as revealed in a recent London judgement was company policy.

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How KCM is killing the Zambian Copperbelt. Part 2: air pollution.

Freddy Muntete in his garden

Freddy Muntete in his garden

July 20th 2016.  In October 2015 Foil Vedanta visited Vedanta’s Zambian subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) for the second time to investigate the legacy of pollution that has destroyed the environment and livelihoods around Chingola since 2004, when Vedanta bought controlling shares in KCM. KCM is Africa’s largest copper mine and the largest mining company in the copper dependent economy of Zambia. Our 2014 report Copper Colonialism: Vedanta KCM and the copper loot of Zambia exposed some of KCM’s major corporate malpractices including large scale tax evasion and mis-declaring profits, labour rights violations, and gross pollution which has continually contaminated the river Kafue causing sickness and loss of livelihood for tens of thousands of Zambians. We accused Vedanta and the UK government, which has given KCM active and tacit support, of neo-colonialism and of treating Zambian lives and environment as cheap.

East 1st Street, only 50m from the smelter

East 1st Street, only 50m from the smelter

We were particularly shocked when we visited KCM’s Nchanga smelter in the heart of Chingola town, to see communities living less than 50m away from the fume belching and extremely noisy smelter. KCM is less known for emitting toxic fumes than Swiss miner Glencore’s Mopani smelter in nearby Mufilira town which causes misery for the residents of Kankoyo district, but walking along East 1st Street and 2nd Street which run directly along the factor wall our eyes immediately began burning and itching and we developed headaches and sore throats within a few minutes.

Residents of Nchanga South explained how the plant was built in 2006 without any prior consultation with the community, who were only aware of the development when they saw construction taking place. The construction of the smelter encroached into their community as the factory wall was moved out, covering 1st Street, which had previously run alongside the wall, and instead building a new wall directly behind the resident’s plots, bringing the polluting plant right up to their garden walls. When the community (many of whom work for KCM) met with representatives to voice their concerns about fumes and pollution from the smelter they were told it was a modern plant with no detectable fumes and would have no impact on them.

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Eight global demos against Vedanta in Afrika, India and London

Foil Vedanta AGM 2015 protest3rd August Seven global locations in India and Africa held angry protests today and over the weekend opposing the activities of British-Indian mining company Vedanta while Vedanta’s AGM at Ironmongers Hall, Barbican, London was mobbed by a loud rally organised by Foil Vedanta, accusing the company of pollution, human rights abuses and financial mismanagement. In London a comical staged boxing match between Vedanta’s 69.6% owner and Chairman Anil Agarwal and new CEO Tom Albanese, revealed the company’s debt problems and internal dynamics while protesters chanted ‘Corporate criminal, shame on you!’ and drummed loudly. Vedanta’s share price has slipped 61% this year to 377p, and continues to dive as Q1 results show increased debt, and Cairn India minority shareholders oppose their attempt to merge with the oil and gas subsidiary to gain access to its $2.6 billion cash reserves for debt servicing.

See the film of London protests and more pics at Demotix..and here and here.

See coverage in the Economic Times of India, the Hindu Business Line, the New International , Odisha Channel , Odisha Sun Times and the Lusaka Times.

See an account of the AGM shareholders meeting here.

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Anil Agarwal anonymous in New York

Anil Agarwal NYT7th February 2015  The New York Times has published an exposé of Vedanta boss Anil Agarwal as part of a series on the people behind shell companies buying up New York real Estate, entitled ‘Towers of Secrecy’ by Louise Story and Stephanie Saul. The section on Vedanta is copied below and the full article is highly recommended.

Like most Time Warner owners, Anil Agarwal, an Indian mining magnate, is anonymous in New York. While interviews and private documents reviewed by The Times confirm he is behind condos purchased by the Amantea Corporation for $9.1 million in 2004, his name appears nowhere on public records. The deeds for Amantea’s Time Warner condos — one on the “maids floor” and another with sweeping views of Central Park — are signed by a New York lawyer named Constance Cranch. When contacted, she said: “You cannot say anything with respect to me. It’s a client of mine’s apartment, and I pay their bills.”

For all the secrecy at Time Warner, Mr. Agarwal is hardly private about his wealth. He spends much of his time in London and told a newspaper in 2005: “I have to have a Bentley, the best of chauffeurs and butlers.”

But Mr. Agarwal and his company, Vedanta Resources, are known in some parts of the world for having left financial and environmental problems in their wake.

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Cairn Lanka and the corporate takeover of the Tamil seas

map-of-CIL-activity-in-tamil-seas26th January 2015Just five days before January’s Sri Lankan Presidential elections former Minister of Power and Energy Champika Ranawaka dropped a bombshell, accusing Mahinda Rajapaska’s government of failing to collect $7 billion in inflated share value from Cairn Energy – the first oil company to discover gas in the Mannar basin. His firey argument (aimed at shaming the then incumbent President) was that mineral exploration rights had been sold to British oil company Cairn Energy for a song following meetings between Rajapaksa and British Prime Minister Tony Blair (who was a school friend of Cairn Energy boss Bill Gammell) in 2006. In 2011, after gas was discovered in their Mannar block – SL 2007-01-001, the value of shares skyrocketed and Cairn Energy sold them on at a highly inflated value to Vedanta Resources, a British-Indian company, who bought Cairn Energy’s South Asian oil and gas subsidiary Cairn India, assisted by the British Prime Minister David Cameron.

 

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International protest call out! Vedanta AGM, Friday 1st August

Guardian front page August 2012Protest call out!                                 Join us at Vedanta’s AGM,                                                        Friday 1st August. 14:00-16:00        

The Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED
Join us for our major annual demonstration at Vedanta’s AGM.
We will bring the defiant energy of communities fighting (and winning) against Vedanta around the world to London: from the miners associations, to the looted people of Zambia, and the Dongria Kond tribe.
Parallel demonstrations are already planned in Zambia, Odisha and Delhi in India on this international day of action. Please contact us on foilvedanta@riseup.net if you would like to plan a demonstration at any Vedanta affected community, or in solidarity ANYWHERE!
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Please find more info on the Delhi demonstration here.
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download leaflets for your community and spread the word here:

Bring drums, placards, banners and lots of energy!

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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.

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Copper Colonialism – Foil Vedanta Zambia report launched

Picture 321st January 2014.  In December Foil Vedanta activists made a trip to Zambia to investigate the operations of Vedanta subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), Zambia’s biggest copper miner, and to make links with grassroots movements, academics, journalists and those in the political system who may be questioning the unjust terms of copper mining in their country.

We were shocked to discover the environmental and social devastation wrought by Vedanta’s operations, and the lack of information held by policy makers and regulators in Zambia on this multinational as well as on wider issues with copper market manipulations, material flows and the real interests controlling their country. This report is a comprehensive account of the origins of, and interests behind the rapid loot of Zambia’s copper resources which is currently taking place.

The Mine Workers Union of Zambia have now launched a full investigation into the evidence in the report, and Vedanta Executive Tom Albanese has been flown out to Zambia to refute the evidence we have published.

Download the report here, or read the full (35 page) report online below.

To download the report click here: Copper Colonialism: British Miner Vedanta KCM and the copper loot of Zambia

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