Activists protest Vedanta's Orissa project during London AGM
28 July 2009
Activists have demonstrated against the British mining company Vedanta in London, outside the building where the company's annual general meeting was being held.
They were protesting the company's plans to mine bauxite in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.
The project site is home to the Kondh tribe, which says the opening of the bauxite mine will destroy a large part of the Niyamgiri Mountain and its environs with which they have lived in harmony for generations. They point out that Vedanta has been there for only 10 years.
Vedanta is about to start operations for mining bauxite in the Niyamgire hills for processing at a refinery that has been set up in the area.
Bauxite mining and the metallurgical processes for producing aluminium from the ore are extremely damaging of the environment.
Vedanta and its associates have been accused of using strong arm methods to evict people from the site.
Vedanta however maintains the project is ethically and environmentally sound.
Spearheading the protest is rock star Mick Jagger's ex wife Bianca Jagger, a noted social and human rights advocat. Jagger, a former actress and fashion icon, has been assured support by UK-based campaign groups, including ActionAid and Survival International.