Earlier this month, the Mines and Communities website criticised London-listed Vedanta Resources for trying to force India’s Orissa government into granting the company bauxite leases, by pleading a dearth in ore to feed its Lanjigarh alumina refinery. (See: Calling Agarwal’s bluff? http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=11894).
Now, one of the state’s leading civil society activists goes a step further – demanding the company “stop playing to Vedanta tunes”, scrap the alumina plant, and declare the adjacent Niyamgiri bauxite deposit a National Biodiversity Heritage Site. Earlier, the plant’s chief operating officer claimed that only certain parts of India – specifically Orissa – host bauxite of a grade that’s suitable for the refinery. But, as Mines and Communities pointed out, the factory has been receiving ore from a number of different sources since it was opened, including from Vedanta’s own mines in Chhattisgarh. Now this has been confirmed by the Vedanta COO himself.
Dongria Kondh celebrate closure of bauxite refinery
Supporters of India’s Dongria Kondh tribe are celebrating after controversial British mining company Vedanta Resources declared it will close its bauxite refinery in the state of Orissa, this December.