Vedanta Resources: Wikis


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Vedanta Resources plc
Type Public (LSE: VED)
Founded 1976, Bombay, India
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Key people Anil Agarwal[1]
(Executive chairman)
Navin Agarwal[1]
(Deputy Executive chairman)
M. S. Mehta[1]
(Chief Executive)
Industry Mining and Resources
Products Copper, aluminium, zinc, lead and gold
Revenue $6,578.9 million (2009)[2]
Operating income $1,107.0 million (2009)[2]
Net income $900.5 million (2009)[2]
Employees 30,000 (2010)[3]

Vedanta Resources plc (LSE: VED) is a global diversified and integrated metals and mining group headquartered in London. Headed by Indian businessman Anil Agarwal, most of Vedanta's operations are located in India. Several of Vedanta's projects are mired in controversy and local unrest due to allegations that they will have a damaging impact on the environment, and on the livelihoods of local people.[4] Vedanta has repeatedly rejected these charges, and has cited support from the Indian Supreme Court in favor of their efforts.[5] Vedanta was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in December 2003[6] and became a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index in June 2006.[7]



The business was founded by Anil Agarwal[8] in 1976 as Sterlite Industries operating in the industrial sector.[9] Vedanta Resources was established in 1986 to bring together a variety of businesses owned by the Agarwal family including Sterlite Industries.[10] Vedanta Resources was first listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in 1988 and on the London Stock Exchange in 2003.[10] In 2004 it acquired a 51% stake in Konkola Copper Mines in Zambia.[11]

The United States Geological Survey reported that as of 2005, the company supplies 75 per cent of Indian zinc requirements.[12]


The Company's principal operations are located in India, with a major market share in the metals: aluminium, copper, zinc and lead. There are also substantial copper operations in Zambia and Tasmania, Australia. Currently it is building the world's largest aluminium smelter at Jharsuguda in India.



Vedanta's subsidiary Sterlite Industries is one of India's largest mining companies[13] while Konkola Copper Mines is the largest mining company in Zambia.[14]

Other subsidiary companies of Vedanta Resources include Vedanta Aluminium,[15] Hindustan Zinc Limited, Bharat Aluminium Company, Madras Aluminium Company, Vedanta Aluminium Ltd and Sterlite Energy Limited.

Vedanta Resources also has a major stake in iron ore producer, Sesa Goa.


Environmental Damage

Vedanta has been criticised by human rights and activist groups, including Survival International and Amnesty International, due to their operations in Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa, India that are said to threaten the lives of the Dongria Kondh that populate this region.[16] The Niyamgiri hills are also claimed to be an important wildlife habitat in Eastern Ghats of India as per a report by the Wildlife Institute of India[17] as well as independent reports/studies carried out by civil society groups. [18] In January 2009, thousands of locals formed a human chain around the hill in protest at the plans to start bauxite mining in the area.[19]

Vedanta's Alumina Refinery in Lanjigarh was critiqued by the Orissa State Pollution Control Board (the statutory environmental regulation body) for air pollution and water pollution in the area. According to Amnesty International, local people reported dust from the plant settling on clothes, crops and food. An environmental impact assessment by the government found dust pollution was within acceptable limits. Vedanta officials claimed there was no dust pollution from the plant at all.[5] An environmental inspection of the plant reported water pollution by the plant including increasing the pH value of the river Vamshadhara below the refinery and a high level of SPM in the stack emissions[20].

In October 2009 it was reported that the British Government has criticised Vedanta for its treatment of the Dongria Kondh tribe in Orissa, India.[21] The company refused to co-operate with the British Government and with an OECD investigation. They have rejected charges of environmental damage, saying it may be related to the increased use of fertiliser by famers.[5]

Safety Concerns

2007 Mining Deaths

Unsafe mining operations led to 1,246 injuries and 18 deaths involving own employees and contractors.[22]

Balco, Korba, Chhattisgarh

A chimney under construction by Gannon Dunkerley & Company at the Balco smelter in Korba, Chhattisgarh collapsed on 23 September 2009 killing at least 40 workers.[23] Balco and GDCL management have been accused of negligence in the incident.[24]



In early 2007, the Armenian government began an investigation of AGRC, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, vis-a-vis compliance with licensing and tax regulations following independent media claims that AGRC submitted incorrect data in production reports relating to royalty payments and was in violation of licensing laws. AGRC was also served a preliminary notice of penalties and fines to the tune of about $50 million (or 80 per cent of its net assets).


In respect of bauxite mines at Lanjigarh, Orissa, public interest litigations were filed in 2004 by Indian non-government organisations led by the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties to the Supreme Court sub-committee regarding the potential environmental impact of the mines. The Ministry of Environment and Forests received reports from expert organisations and has submitted its recommendations to the Supreme Court.

The sub-committee has found "blatant violations" of environmental regulations and grave concerns about the impact of the Niyamgiri mine on both the environment and the local tribal population. The committee recommended to the Court that mining in such an ecologically sensitive area should not be permitted.[25]

Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal rejected allegations of maltreatment of locals. Agarwal said that the mining project at Niyamgiri has been approved by the Indian Supreme Court based on a process that included consultation with the locals carried out within the bounds of the law, attesting that the majority of the locals supported their industrial efforts.[26] A anonymous official of Vedanta Resources blamed the NGO's attacking Vedanta of being funded by competing foreign mining corporations.[26]

Human rights

In February 2010, the Church of England decided to disinvest from the company, on ethical grounds.[27] According to indigenous rights organization, Survival International, the Church’s decision is extremely unusual, as it almost always prefers a policy of ‘constructive engagement’ to disinvesting.[28] The Church stated that "we are not satisfied that Vedanta has shown, or is likely in future to show, the level of respect for human rights and local communities that we expect" and that "[it] would be inconsistent with the Church investing bodies’ joint ethical investment policy".

The Director of Survival International, Stephen Corry, said, "The Church’s unprecedented and very welcome decision sends a strong signal to companies that trample on tribal peoples’ rights: we will not bankroll your abuses. Anybody that has shares in Vedanta should sell them today if they care about human rights."[28]

Vedanta responded by expressing disappointment at the Church's actions, and that they are "fully committed to pursuing its investments in a responsible manner, respecting the environment and human rights".[5]

The NGO Amnesty International has also come to criticize the company' record on human rights.[5][29] It has stated, "[I]t is clear that Vedanta Resources and its subsidiaries […] have failed to respect the human rights of the people of Lanjigarh and the Niyamgiri Hills." They add, "The proposed bauxite mine […] threatens the survival of a protected Indigenous community […] However, these risks have been largely ignored and consultation with and disclosure of information to affected communities have been almost non-existent."[30]

Following this controversy, several shareholders have joined in selling their shares due to human rights concerns. This includes the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Marlborough Ethical Fund and Millfield House Foundation. The British and Norwegian governments have both condemned the project, and Martin Currie Investments has also disinvested following pressure from Survival. The BP Pension Fund has reduced its shareholding over similar concerns.[31]


  1. ^ a b c "Executive Directors". Vedanta Resources. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  2. ^ a b c Annual Report 2009
  3. ^ Vedanta: Who we are
  4. ^ "Mining in Orissa threatens Dongria Kondh tribe" "The Telegraph" 19 April, 2008
  5. ^ a b c d e "India refinery 'threatens health of local community'" (in English). BBC News. Tuesday, 9 February 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Welcome to Vedanta Resources". Press Release. London Stock Exchange. 10 December 2003 (URL retrieved 21 September 2006).
  7. ^ "More mining firms join FTSE 100", BBC News, 8 June 2006 (URL retrieved 21 September 2006).
  8. ^ Freedman, Michael. "All Mine: Anil Agarwal capitalized on India's economic liberation to make a $1 billion fortune". Forbes. 15 March 2004 (URL retrieved 21 September 2006).
  9. ^ Vedanta Resources Senior Mananagement
  10. ^ a b Vedanta Resources History
  11. ^ Vedanta Resources buys Zambia's largest copper producer
  12. ^ USGS Minerals Yearbook 2005
  13. ^ Vedanta: UK Company Accused of Multiple Violations
  14. ^ Sterlite Industries India - Vedanta Group Profile - Sterlite Industries History
  15. ^ Kumar, Abhineet (February 4 2010). "Vedanta Resources may list aluminium subsidiary". Mumbai. Retrieved February 9 2010. 
  16. ^ British mining company threatens sacred mountain
  17. ^ Studies on impact of proposed Lanjigarh Bauxite Mining on biodiversity including wildlife and its habitat
  18. ^ A brief report on Ecological and Biodiversity importance of Niyamgiri Hill and implications of Bauxite Mining
  19. ^ Sahu, Sandeep (27 January 2009). "Indians protest over mining plans". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  20. ^ Nayak, C.R., Inspection Report on M/S. Vedanta Alumnimum Limited, Lanjigarh, Dist: Kalahandi
  21. ^ UK Government blasts Vedanta for mistreatment of Oriya tribals
  22. ^ Vedanta Annual Report 2007
  23. ^ Balco chimney crash deaths climb to 26, dozens still trapped
  24. ^ India chimney collapse kills 22
  25. ^ Indian Supreme Court's Central Empowered Committee (2005) Report in IA No. 1324 regarding the alumina refinery plant being set up by M/S Vedanta Alumina Limited at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi District, Orissa
  26. ^ a b Vedanta Resources caught in web of allegations
  27. ^ Church of England sells Vedanta shares over Orissa human rights
  28. ^ a b Church takes ‘unprecedented’ step to sell stake in Vedanta
  29. ^ Don’t Mine Us out of Existence - Amnesty International
  30. ^ Amnesty slams Vedanta Resources
  31. ^ Survival applauds Rowntree decision to sell Vedanta shares over ethical concerns

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