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UK companies linked to devastating Indian mine

Jun 25

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25/06/2009 14:58  RssIcon

UK banks, companies and pension funds are investors in company planning to bulldoze Indian sacred mountain


Ethical Consumer recently reported that after a five year struggle by tribal people the Indian government has given the go ahead for a controversial mine planned by UK company Vedanta which will destroy a sacred mountain that is the ancestral home to thousands of people.
Following a study by their ethics council, Norway 's pension fund, the world's second-largest sovereign wealth fund, recently sold shares worth 13.2 millon US dollars in Vedanta Resources Plc due to "systematic" environmental and human rights failures including "forced relocation" of indigenous tribes.
Plans for the Orissa bauxite mine were controversial enough, but now shareholder data has revealed that a raft of UK household names, ranging from Jaguar cars to the Church of England, own shares in the company behind the mine, Vedanta Resources plc
Although the majority shareholder in Vedanta is its billionaire owner Anil Agarwal research by the Ecologist reveals that a host of UK banks, companies and other bodies are also shareholders in the company.
Halifax Pension Fund, Lloyds TSB Group Pension Fund, Norwich Union Life and Pensions Ltd and Prudential Managed Pension Fund, amongst others, are all named as beneficial shareholders in the controversial mining conglomerate.
Also listed as shareholders are Axa Sun Life Assurance Society, Jaguar Cars Pension Plan, Land Rover Pension Trustees Ltd, Unilever Pension Fund and Coors Brewers Pension Fund.
A number of local and regional authorities - including Suffolk County Council, Havering Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council - appear in the register by virtue of their pension funds.  
The Church of England and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust have also indirectly bought shares in Vedanta.
According to some reports the project is aready in financial trouble. A campaign of divestment could potentially halt the devastation.
Full article and shareholder list here.





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