Tag Archives: Vedanta Aluminium

Lanjigarh expansion Public Hearing disrupted by hundreds

Lanjigarh expansion public hearing July 201431st July, 2014. Yesterday public hearings on the six fold expansion of the Lanjigarh refinery, at the base of the Niyamgiri Hills in Odisha, were disrupted by around 1000 local people including Dongria and Kutia Konds virulently opposing the expansion.

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Some Konds waved their axes demanding that Vedanta (Sesa Sterlite) leave Lanjigarh immediately and citing their objection to the Niyamgiri mine (voiced unanimously in a precedent referendum last year). The Land Losers Association also registered their objection citing the false arrests and imprisonment they have suffered since losing their land to Vedanta without proper compensation or employment as Vedanta had promised. A recent report from a local activist detailed how 34 of the Land losers have died since they lost their land, attributing this to poverty and disease from the Lanjigarh plant.

See a film of the public hearing and the key points raised by opposing groups here.

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MPs hear evidence for de-listing Vedanta and other UK listed mining companies

 

Miriam Rose, Samarendra Das, John McDonnell MP and Richard Solly in the House of Commons

Miriam Rose, Samarendra Das, John McDonnell MP and Richard Solly in the House of Commons

Speakers from Foil Vedanta and London Mining Network yesterday presented evidence in the House of Commons on the criminal behaviour of some London Listed mining companies, and called for better accountability measures and the de-listing of criminal companies. Focusing on contentious UK miner Vedanta Resources, they exposed new evidence of tax evasion, illegal land grabs, displacement, major pollution and water poisoning, as well as the UK’s role in promoting and protecting the company, and called for its immediate investigation and potential de-listing in London.

In a packed meeting hosted by John McDonnell MP in the House of Commons speakers told MPs, journalists, diplomats and members of the public attending that high risk mining companies like ‘the world’s most hated company’ Vedanta Resources are bringing shame on the London Stock Exchange, and demanded better accountability measures and the de-listing of criminal companies. MPs attending were Jeremy Corbyn, Eric Joyce and John McDonnell.

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KCM hides profits in Zambia by transfer mispricing

KCM Chingola4th July.  This  explosive article appeared in today’s Post Zambia newspaper. An arbirtration hearing in the London High Court of Justice heard on Tuesday how Vedanta has used a Dubai based subsidiary called Fujairah Gold to buy under-valued copper from its subsidiary KCM, and hide its profits, in a scam known as transfer mispricing. Fujairah Gold is managed by Anil’s son Agnivesh Agarwal, and is a well hidden subsidiary, controlled by several other Vedanta subsidiaries. According to Vedanta’s 2013 Annual Report:

Fujairah Gold Gold and Silver processing is an Indirect Subsidiary of the  parent Company Vedanta Resources with 58.02% shares based in Dubai, UAE  which is under Copper Mines Of Tasmania Pty Limited (‘CMT’)CMT 100.00%  which is under Monte Cello BV (‘MCBV’) Holding company based in Netherlands which is under Sterlite.

Download the full judgment here

The article also details how Vedanta’s often claimed $2.8 billion in KCM investment is in fact a fabrication. The judgement itself states that; ‘the $2.8 billion figure was in fact made up of US$2.07 billion of internally generated cash flows and US$739 million through borrowing from banks, mainly Standard Bank. It was clear that Vedanta had not injected any capital into KCM as it was supposed to have done.’

The central question is how Anil Agarwal can claim that KCM is earning ‘$500 million per year plus an extra US$1 billion’ when accounts show a loss of $6.3 million after tax in the year ending 31 March 2013. The judgement suggests that ‘if these claims are true then it must be happening by unreported means. ‘ Transfer mispricing is one of the most common techniques for hiding profit. The Zambian Government is currently carrying out a ‘forensic’ audit of KCM’s accounts to ascertain the truth about their profits and taxes due.                     Watch this space for more news!

Full article below

kcm cheating on copper exports
The Post newspaper, Zambia.
By Mwala Kalaluka

Fri 04 July 2014

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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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Lingaraj Azad – Niyamgiri movement leader and political activist

Lingaraj Azad7th April 2014. This interview with Lingaraj Azad, one of the key Dalit leaders of the Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, who won in their ten year struggle against Vedanta’s bauxite mine last year, and a close associate of Foil Vedanta, was published in the Nov-Dec 2013 issue of Samayaik Varta. This English translation has just been released.

Niyamgiri mountain and the movement’s leader Lingraj Azad

–  Shiuli Vanaja

Vedanta loses $10 billion investment at Niyamgiri and slips to FTSE 250

Celebrations of the Niyamgiri victory at Jarapa in August

Celebrations of the Niyamgiri victory at Jarapa in August

On Saturday 11th January the Ministry of Environment and Forests finally gave its statement formally rejecting permission for Vedanta’s Niyamgiri mine. In late December another major disaster hit the company when low share prices got them officially demoted from the FTSE 100 to the FTSE 250, removing their ‘blue chip’ status.

The failure of the Niyamgiri bauxite mining project is estimated by some to have cost Vedanta $10 billion in lost investments. Vedanta boss Anil Agarwal had built the Lanjigarh refinery at the foot of Niyamgiri mountain, and even expanded it sixfold, so sure was he that he would gain permission to mine despite the local inhabitants’ dissent. In November 2004 he even used a Financial Times article to mislead investors and create confidence, by claiming that he already had permission to mine the mountain.

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Sulphur Dioxide leak grounds residents in Chingola, Zambia

KCM ChingolaThis report comes from local residents and research direct from Zambia where a Foil Vedanta team is currently investigating British based Vedanta’s copper subsidiary KCM and making links with Zambian communities.

In the early morning of Friday 13th December high levels of Sulphur Dioxide were released from Vedanta subsidiary KCM’s Nchanga copper smelter in Chingola, Zambia. KCM’s Public Relations manager Joy Sata (a former journalist for Daily Mail Zambia) warned affected communities to stay in their homes until the pollution passed. See news article below.

Sata was quick to point out to the media that the pollution was caused by a national power outage due to disruption at the Kafue Gorge Power Station run by the government power company ZESCO. However, this does not explain why KCM’s smelter was the only one of many other mining companies affected by the power cut to release toxic emissions into the local community. It is clear that KCMs back up power supply was not effective causing their production to stop and releasing damaging emissions.

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Niyamgiri unanimously rejects Vedanta!

Jarapa palli sabha

20th August, 2013. Yesterday Jarapa – the last of the twelve villages selected to vote on the proposed Niyamgiri mine – sealed the victory of the mountain and its people over Vedanta, as, like every other village, it unanimously opposed the mine. Niyamgiri has now spoken, and commentators agree that, though the Ministry of Environment and Forests has the final say on the resolution passed by the villages, they would face public outcry if they ignored the clear message of the Dongria.

Thanks to the hard work of activists at, and around, Niyamgiri, the precedent process, enabled by the Supreme Court, has been fully transparent, and the Odisha government’s attempts to use violence and manipulation to influence the verdict, have failed. As a result the world has witnessed the clarity and conviction of Niyamgiri’s people – from Dongria and Kutia Konds, to Dalits, Gaudas  and others who live off the bounty of the mountain – who realise that there is no richer life than having self sufficiency, community and freedom. In the palli sabhas Niyamgiri’s tribal people showed their wisdom and knowledge as they articulated their vision of development, and questioned the type of development prescribed for them by the state, which they do not recognise as progress. (More details below). Yesterday they celebrated their great victory with music, drums and dancing.

The Hindu newspaper quotes Lingaraj Azad, leader of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti on the final palli sabha vote:

“As all gram sabhas have unanimously rejected mining in the hills despite the sinister design by the Odisha government and ruffians engaged by Vedanta, it is time Vedanta gracefully respected public sentiment and packed off,”

The Ministry of Environment and Forests now have two months to deliver the final verdict on the mine according to the April 18th Supreme Court ruling. After ten years of bribery, corruption, coercion and violence to try to get Niyamgiri’s bauxite, Vedanta has lost a $7 billion investment. This people’s victory should be a lesson to other communities fighting mega-projects who seek short term profit over the longevity of sustainable communities. With strength, solidarity and commitment you can win. As they say in India – “ladhenge jitenge!” – ‘We will fight, we will win!’.
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Niyamgiri 10 – Vedanta 0

9th August: Ten of twelve Palli Sabhas have now been held on the Niyamgiri hills and each one has unanimously rejected Vedanta’s proposed mine, and laid claim to the whole mountain range for their cultural and religious rights.

The latest meeting to be held was in Lakhpadar on 7th August where 97 voters virulently opposed the project and rejected the claims which the judge claimed were filed for compensation of Forest Rights. Local resident and movement leader Lodo Sikoka told the judge and the panel:

“Our God lives in open space. You keep your God locked with a key. We won’t leave Niyamgiri. If the Government, Political Party Leaders ask for it we will fight and shed blood. Why do the police, armed force destroy our fields and crops in the name of combing Maoists? Why are they entering our territory? Withdraw them immediately.”

A full report of the Lakhpadar palli sabha entitled – ‘Niyamgiri is our doctor we will die for niyamgiri but never allow for mining bauxite for Vedanta‘ can be found at Orissabarta.

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Vedanta AGM disrupted by worldwide protests again!

1st August 2013. Foil Vedanta’s report with pictures:

An inflatable monster representing Vedanta with the subsidiaries as snake like heads

Today protesters from Foil Vedanta and other organizations held a loud carnival demonstration at the AGM of controversial FTSE 100 mining company Vedanta at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square London. A parallel demo was held in Johannesburg. Yesterday in Delhi almost a hundred people braved rains to raise their protest at Odisha Bhawan. Meanwhile, the majority of tribal village meetings given legal power by the Supreme Court of India have unanimously voted against Vedanta’s flagship Niyamgiri mine.

 

Please see the video of the London demo here, video of the Delhi demo here, pictures here, and details of coverage of the demo’s in South Africa, Delhi and London below.

Vedanta’s London AGM was again disrupted today by protesters from Foil Vedanta and other organisations who raised a number of human rights concerns. Chanting and singing was continuous throughout the two hour protest and could be heard inside the AGM. Protesters held placards painted with defiant anti-company quotes from the Dongria Kond tribe in Odisha, India, where the company has been trying to mine illegally for ten years, and has now been stopped. Another group performed street theatre holding a giant inflatable monster with Vedanta Resources painted on it, and snake like heads bearing the names of Vedanta’s subsidiaries. Some Sri Lankan protesters played Parai drums (a Tamil drum of revolution) outside the Mayfair venue. Vedanta subsidiary Cairn India is drilling in the fragile Mannar basin off Sri Lanka. At the peak of the protests a sit in was staged as the Vedanta monster was used to block the road.

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