Imminent: Anglican Church decision on Vedanta Resources' abuses

There have been numerous protests against Vedantas plans.
There have been numerous protests against Vedantas plans.
© Survival

The Church of England is meeting this week to decide what to do with its £2.5 million investment in UK mining company Vedanta Resources.

The Ethical Investment Advisory Group of the Church will meet to decide whether to recommend selling their stake in Vedanta Resources, or to keep their money with the miner and continue to ‘engage’ them in dialogue.

The UK government has already declared that Vedanta’s plan to mine aluminium ore from a hill range in Orissa, India, ignores the human rights of the Dongria Kondh tribe who live there, and flouts international law. But the government, which began investigating Vedanta Resources after a complaint from Survival, has no power to stop the company.

Last November a Church representative visited the region of India where Vedanta has already built an alumina refinery and intends to start the mine. During his visit he met people who have lost almost everything to the refinery, and was able to get some sense of what the Dongria Kondh who will be affected by Vedanta’s mine, stand to lose.

The Dongria Kondh tribe have never been formally consulted about the mine, which will destroy their sacred mountain and irrevocably change their forest home. When Survival visited the tribe in December 2009, they found that some Dongria do not even know exactly where the mine is going to be, and no one from Vedanta has ever tried to explain the likely impact on their lives and land.

Stephen Corry, Survival’s Director, said today, ‘If the Church of England now decide to keep their cash with the company it will be in the full knowledge that the Dongria Kondh’s rights are about to be trampled. The UK government has already told Vedanta that the project is unacceptable, but Vedanta has ignored them – it’s painfully clear that words, without action, are meaningless. The Church must take action, and sell its stake in Vedanta Resources.’