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Mining closure hits Vedanta’s CSR activities

PANAJI: The suspension of mining operations in Goa appears to have hit Vedanta Goa’s (formerly Sesa Sterlite Limited), operations, the latest being the temporary closure of the mining conglomerate’s corporate social responsibility activities.

Over the last one month, the company has hinted that it will shut down its senior football academy, its technical school as well as its pig iron plant due to depleting financial reserves and lack of iron ore supply.

A formal notice issued by the company says, “the suspension of mining continues to affect the lives of the people as mining companies have resorted to cost-cutting measures.”

As part of its CSR activities, the company had tied up with Matruchaya and was supporting an endeavour to provide quality healthcare accesses to communities through community medical centres. Some of these community centers have been temporarily closed down since the beginning of April, the company said.

Towards the end of March the company had put up its football academy at Sirsaim and two floors of its office space at Patto for lease. Sources had also indicated that the company’s football team would not participate in Goa’s top football league as it was difficult to financially support the team.

Ironically, just a few days ago, Sesa Football Academy was awarded the ‘Best CSR Project Award in Promotion of Sports in Rural Areas of India’ at the annual India CSR awards. The group’s Football Academy nurtured and trained 112 players with 6 players going on to represent the country.

The academy also produced the only player from India to play in a premier football club in Europe.

“Suspension of mining for last 30 months, and the delay in issuances of various approvals for resumption had forced the company to take such decisions,” a company official said.

Though not directly related to revenue loss, the expected shut down of the company’s pig-iron plant by mid-April is directly connected to the suspension of mining activities. With no mining taking place, the group has had to rely on e-auctions instead of its own mining operations. Vedanta had written to the department of mines and geology asking for the resumption of e-auctions of iron ore.

Source: The Times of India

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