'India' Tag Archive

Oct 26 2008

Rio Tinto plans Orissa Mine and Refinery


INDIA – Unfazed by the global economic slowdown, international mining behemoth Rio Tinto is seeking to develop bauxite mines as a prelude to investing about $2.2 billion for a greenfield alumina refinery and 250.000 tonne smelter plant in India, its top official in the country said.
“We are interested in getting bauxite mines which may enable us to further the process of setting up the alumina refinery and smelter plant,” Rio Tinto’s India Managing Director Nik Senapati said while unfurling his company’s plans in the country. The London-listed company is believed to be the world’s biggest producer of alumina and aluminium. Read More

Oct 25 2008
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Toxic gas from smelter damages crop


INDIA – Farmers in Hirakud, Orissa are protesting against the Hindalco aluminium smelter plant for emitting poisonous gas, which has damaged their paddy crops spread across 113 acres of land. They have also demanded immediate compensation from the factory management. In an early morning in September farmers in Nuagujatal and Gundurupada village near Hindalco aluminium smelter plant in Hirakud NAC of Sambalpur district, found that their paddy crops had turned from green to yellow. They were surprised to see the change happening so quickly, overnight, and when they looked around similar symptoms were noticed in the trees.
The yellowing had been a regular phenomenon in the area, which occurs every year. This time the factory had released noxious emission, mostly fluoride wastes, when there was a heavy downpour. With the rain water the fumes became toxic rain and damaged the crop, allege agricultural scientists. Read More

Oct 13 2008

Capitalism Thrives on Inequality


By Snorri Páll Jónsson Úlfhildarson, originally published in Morgunblaðið -

In his article, “Is There Enough Aluminium in the World?” Jakob Björnsson, former director of energy affairs points out that “by far the biggest part of alulminium usage in the world today is in the industrial countries, where 25% of the people of the world live.” He also mentions that when China and India will have gone through proper indutrialization, 62% of humanity will live in industrial countries and the other 38% are also on their way there; that they want to enjoy the indstrialized countries’ living standards, even dream of cars and beer cans. These are very important facts.

Two things make Jakob’s article very interesting. Firstly, he says that it is a realistic oppurtunity that all human beings on the planet can reach the “qualities of life” and lifestyle that Occidentals now live with. Secondly, he states that human equalitiy is possible inside the system we live in. Read More

Oct 13 2008

Blockades to stop bauxite mining in Orissa


One of India’s most isolated tribes, the Dongria Kondh, is preparing to stop British FTSE 100 company Vedanta from mining aluminium ore on their sacred mountain, after police and hired thugs forced protestors to dismantle a barricade over the weekend.
About 150 people had blocked the road in Orissa state on Wednesday after hearing that Vedanta intended to start survey work for a planned aluminium mine which would destroy an ecologically vital hill, and the Dongria Kondh’s most sacred site. Vedanta employees visited the blockade repeatedly, threatening the protestors. On Friday the villagers gave in and took down the barricade, but about 100 are still at the side of the road, blocking traffic when Vedanta vehicles approach. Read More

Sep 29 2008

Hypocrisy?


By Snorri Páll Jónsson Úlfhildarson, orignally published in Morgunblaðið

“Do you know that your wheelchair is made out of aluminium?” said a police officer to one of those who stopped work in Helguvík this summer. Thereby he swamped all the arguments of the opposition to aluminium for good, didn’t he? Shortly after the publication of Jakob Björnsson’s (former director of energy affairs) article about the singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir and her usage of aluminium, the editors of Morgunblaðið got ready and wrote an editorial where it says that the opposers of aluminium are probably not self-consistent most of the time. Most of them use aluminium everyday and even Saving Iceland cooks in aluminium pots and uses aluminium polse to hold up their tents. “Hypocrisy” said Morgunblaðið.

This critique is far from being new. It has systematically been used against those who object to the further build-up of heavy industry here in Iceland, the destruction of Iceland’s nature for energy production, the destruction of ecosystems worldwide because of bauxite mining, and energy realization to a company that prides itself of its collaboration with the U.S. millitary. In addition to when aluminium opposers are all said to be wanting to move the Icelandic society back to the turf huts and build the country’s economy on picking mountain grass, this has been the main criticism.

No matter how many times it has been pointed out that at least 30% of all produced aluminium is used for the arms industry; no matter how many times it has been pointed out how much aluminium ends as a land-filling after having functions as single use drinking facilities; no matter that the context between low energy prices and the fact how easy it is for us to produce aluminium, use it once, throw it away and produce more – still we are being told that we are not self-consistent.

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Aug 20 2008

Pressure on Vedanta Increases


Survival International – British mining company Vedanta is under intense pressure over its plans to mine the Dongria Kondh tribe’s land in India, as a Scottish investment group sells its shares and Amnesty International joins the campaign in support of the tribe. Read More

Aug 09 2008

Controversial Mining Project in Orissa Approved


OrissaSurvival International – India’s Supreme Court has today dealt a devastating blow to the Dongria Kondh tribe by giving British FTSE 100 company Vedanta permission to mine their sacred mountain. The tribe say the mine will destroy their way of life forever. Vedanta’s subsidiary Sterlite plans to mine for bauxite, the raw material for aluminium, from Niyamgiri mountain in Orissa, eastern India. Vedanta is majority owned by London-based Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal. The Dongria Kondh say the huge open cast mine will destroy a vast swathe of untouched forest, and will reduce their most sacred site to an industrial wasteland. Last month, thirty Dongria Kondh men blockaded a road that is being built through their forest towards the site of the proposed mine. The tribe say they will stage mass protests if mining goes ahead. Read More

Jul 31 2008

Vedanta Promises


British mining giant Vedanta’s Chairman Anil Agarwal told the company’s AGM today that his company would only go ahead with its highly controversial bauxite mine in Orissa, eastern India, with the ‘complete permission’ of the Dongria Kondh tribe. Vedanta’s subsidiary, Sterlite, is currently awaiting permission from India’s Supreme Court to mine bauxite, the raw material for aluminium, from Niyamgiri mountain in Orissa. The court is expected to award permission shortly. Read More

Jul 23 2008
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Picture Report of Samarendra & Andri Snaer Discussion


About 90 people attended the Saving Iceland conference with the Indian writer, scientist and aluminium expert Samarendra Das and ‘Dreamland’ author Andri Snær Magnusson, on the influence of the aluminium industry in the third world. It took place at Reykjavikurakademian. The concept of aluminium as a ‘green’ product will was examined. A video of the talks is currently being prepared and will be available shortly.
On the 21st, there was also a talk by Das in the Peace House and on the 24th Das will speak in Keflavik. Read More

Jul 20 2008
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Wed July 23 – Samarendra Das and Andri Snær at Reykjavik Academia


On Wednesday July 23, 19.30 h. Saving Iceland will hold a conference with the Indian writer, scientist and aluminium expert Samarendra Das and ‘Dreamland’ author Andri Snær Magnusson, on the influence of the aluminium industry in the third world. Also, the concept of aluminium as a ‘green’ product will be examined. The evening is organised jointly with Futureland. It will take place at the Reykjavikurakademian house on Hringbraut 121. Read More

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