This shocking video which we released yesterday shows Vedanta boss Anil Agarwal bragging to an audience of Jain businessmen in Bangalore this March about how he bought Zambia’s largest copper mine for pittance, and milks it of $500 million each year (while he is also claiming in Zambia that he is making a loss and cannot pay more tax or royalty, or settle pollution compensation.. and must fire workers etc). Press release below. The news has hit Zambian newspapers already.
This ‘horses mouth’ account says so much about the arrogant and disdainful attitude of corporations like Vedanta, and is a lesson for any community facing a similar threat.
Please send this far and wide and show the real face of greed behind the glossy CSR persona of Vedanta and other corporates.
Meanwhile, Vedanta has been showing its true face in Ireland too.. where three managers at the Lisheen zinc and lead mine have left the firm, and been granted six months sick pay for bullying, harassment and intimidation by Vedanta execs. One email from an exec even stated “are you Irish or Jihadi?” (see attached article).
The good news is that Vedanta continues to slump, as the Sunday Times rich list reports a half a billion pound loss to Agarwal’s wealth in the last few months, describing him as a metal-to-oils tycoon, which demonstrates his shift towards the oil industry as his metals industry faces increasing resistance from local activism and court hold ups.
Do read the Foil Vedanta facebook to keep up to date with developments.
Thanks to all those who ‘liked’ it. We are now at 1133 likes.
Best to all,
VEDANTA BOSS CLAIMS $500 MILLION PROFIT PER YEAR AT KCM!
Video of Anil Agarwal speaking in March 2014 reveals how he bought KCM for just $25 million.
Agarwal claims KCM is giving him $500 million every year in profit, plus an extra $1 billion.
Meanwhile Vedanta have continued to claim that they are making a loss, or a minimal profit at KCM.
A video(1), released by activists from Foil Vedanta(2) today, shows Vedanta boss, and 69% owner, Anil Agarwal, telling a large audience how he bought Konkola Copper Mines for just $25 million, rather than the $400 million asking price, and receiving loud cheers when he states that the company brings in $500 million in profit each year. Foil Vedanta had previously released figures from Vedanta’s annual reports showing that the company made $362 million in 2013(3), but Vedanta CEO Tom Albanese(4) had disputed this during his visits to Zambia in February, repeating the previous claim that KCM was making a very low profit or a loss due to high operational costs and taxes.(5)
In the video, Agarwal, speaking to the Jain International Trade Organisation(6) in Bangalore, India, March 22 – 23 this year, states about KCM:
“Its been 9 years [since we’ve owned the company], and since then every year it is giving us a minimum of 500 million dollar, plus 1 billion dollar, every year it has been continuously giving back.”
Anil Agarwal also explains in detail how he came to buy ‘the largest copper mine in Africa’ at Konkola, describing how he took a chance by offering only $25 million rather than the $400 million asking price. He describes his surprise at receiving a VIP welcome in the Zambian parliament, and ridicules the then Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa for claiming that Vedanta would improve the lives of Zambians, saying:
“He told the entire parliament that what great people we are, and our empire, and that they will make our lives gorgeous. And they will make schools, make hospitals and blah blah …”
A few weeks ago a protest at the Zambian High Commission in London called for Vedanta and the Zambian government to release KCM’s annual reports, containing the official figures on profits and tax payment, which are currently kept secret.
They also suggested that Vedanta should be forced to pay the fine of $2 million served by Zambian courts in 2011 as compensation to 2000 claimants poisoned by major pollution of the river Kafue in 2006, and stop ongoing spills affecting Chingola residents. (7)
In addition they joined the calls of KCM employees and former employees in Zambia, who are demanding that retrenched workers are properly compensated for taking redundancy, and existing contract labourers are unionised.(8)
Meanwhile Vedanta’s Lisheen mine in Ireland, which they bought from Anglo American in 2011, is facing trouble, as a High Court judgement has ruled that three senior managers should be paid 6 months sick pay after leaving the company due to ‘bullying, harassment and intimidation since Vedanta took control’. Local councillors, as well as the aggrieved managers, are also questioning Vedanta’s decision not to wind the mine down by 2015, as they had originally planned.(9)
Notes to editors:
Contact: Miriam Rose: [email protected] for more information or statements.
Notes to Editors:
- Please see the (3.54 min) video in Hindi with subtitles in English here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=98yKosnwb-Y&feature=youtu.be You may need to click on the caption icon in the menu bar beneath the video to see the translation. The full transcript is attached to this release. This is an excerpt from the full video of the conference originally posted here: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Dj3fXRlIo-8&feature=youtu.be
- Foil Vedanta are a London based international solidarity group focusing on the activities of British mining company Vedanta. We link up global communities affected by Vedanta, and hold them to account in London. We are currently aiming to make the case for Vedanta to be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange for their human rights and corporate governance abuses.
- The full report Copper Colonialism: British miner Vedanta KCM and the copper loot of Zambia can be found atwww.foilvedanta.org. (http://www.foilvedanta.org/
articles/copper-colonialism- report-shakes-zambia/ ) The report, released in January 2014 has caused shock waves in Zambia and raised the debate on the way copper mining companies operate in Zambia.
- For more information on Tom Albanese’s background as Rio Tinto CEO, including his oversight of de-unionising policies, militarisation of mines, and major pollution, please see the profile entitled “Tom Albanese – Blood on your hands” at http://www.foilvedanta.org/
- 7th February, Daily Mail Zambia article:
Mr Albanese said the profit and loss accounts of KCM are transparent. He said audit reports which are thoroughly scrutinised are made available within the country and outside.
“On behalf of the shareholders and subsidiaries of Vedanta, the reports are prepared according to Zambia, United Kingdom and United States (US) financial regulations,” Mr Albanese said. He said despite KCM making profit, most of it is lost to taxes and operational costs.
- According to their website: ‘The Jain International Trade Organization (JITO) is a worldwide body of Jain businessmen, industrialists, knowledge workers and professionals in various fields reflecting their glory of ethical business practices.’
- In 2006 KCM spilled effluent into the Mushishima stream, and the Kafue river, raising chemical concentrations in the river Kafue to 10 x acceptable levels of copper, 770 x manganese and 100 x cobalt. Thousands were poisoned, and a litigation on behalf of 2000 Chingola residents by private lawyers resulted in a landmark $2 million fine being delivered by judges in 2011 to be paid to the claimants1. However, Vedanta challenged the ruling and the case is yet to be re-heard while the fine remains unpaid. Affected residents are now experiencing birth deformities and severe health problems, while the Mushishima stream remains regularly contaminated by the KCM mine, leaving communities without clean water and suffering ongoing health problems. (See p.21 of report)
(8) The Former KCM Miners Association is a union of workers retrenched from KCM since 2000. They are 752 in total, and 235 of them were retrenched during Anglo American’s ownership of KCM (2000 – 2004). None have received the full severance pay they were entitled to, while those fired under Anglo have received nothing at all. The group have been campaigning on this issue for many years.
(9) See: Samantha McCaughren, 23rd February 2014 ‘Stressed Lisheen bosses given paid leave in court ruling’, The Sunday Times.