360O project management
Our vision is to establish a 'Bio-economy Campus' on the Lisheen mine site with multiple operations and jobs. Lisheen has been approved to be 1 of the 6 European Model Demonstrator Regions for the development and implementation of modern cluster strategies to foster entrepreneurship in emerging industries. Therefore, we are engaging with companies who have an active interest in establishing green industries on the site. To realise this vision, a task force comprising members of the local government and industrial development agencies has been in place for over two years.
Our Sustainable Development Framework includes a number of Technical and Management Standards which are aligned to international standards like IFC and ICMM and require consultation with interested and affected parties, right from the earliest stages of business planning.
These sustainability standards ensure that sustainability risk assessments and due diligence appraisals are integrated into the wider due diligence around project development, new projects and potential acquisitions (including commercial, financial and legal) and site closure.
These standards that govern our actions and decisions across the project life cycle broadly focus on following aspects given below:
New Projects, Planning
Processes and Site Closure
Acquisitions, Divestments and
Joint Venture Due Diligence
Conducting ESIAs
to International Standards
Every new project poses a unique set of challenges. Demographics, local customs, cultural nuances and communication patterns - all vary from location to location. Therefore, when we initiate a new project we analyse it thoroughly across all stages - from exploration to development, operations and closure. Along with economic viability of a project, we also conduct a socio-economic and environmental impact assessment through a systematic process.
Engaging with Stakeholders
Understanding stakeholder expectation and prevalent mindsets is key to successful project management. We consult all key stakeholders in order to identify, prioritise and crystallise real and perceived sustainability issues associated to the project.
Our approach to social impact mitigation is founded on disclosure of relevant information, consultation and participation of all affected communities, and arriving at mutually acceptable solutions that address the material concerns of all stakeholders.
Risk Screening
Sustainability risk screening is an integral part of our planning apparatus for new projects, expansions and acquisitions. Our due diligence screening covers a wide range of sustainability issues like resettlement, indigenous people (vulnerable groups), and significant loss of cultural heritage, human rights, biodiversity, transboundary/cumulative risks and overall sustainability impact. Risk screening outcomes help the Company to arrive at detailed scope of work on Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) for all new projects.
This ensures that projects are properly derisked, and successfully obtain and sustain their licence to operate. As part of the ESIA process, we identify potentially-affected community early in the project development stage and engage with them to identify, assess and manage the environmental and social risks.
Hindustan Zinc Limited
HZL - Rampura Agucha mine in Rajasthan, India is the world's largest zinc mine. It has an ore production capacity of 6.15 mn MT per annum.
As a part of its expansion programme, HZL is undergoing underground expansion to an ore production capacity of 3.75 mn MT per annum this year. For this the unit already received the environment clearance in 2012 wherein all the necessary Environment and Social Impact studies were undertaken earlier.
HZL, Sindesar Khurd in Rajasthan has an annual ore production capacity of 2.0 mn MT.
It is a highly mechanised world-class underground mine with state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities and best-in-class mechanisation. As part of the on-going expansion programme, ore production capacity at Sindesar Khurd will be increased to 3.75 mn MT per annum by FY 2018-19. The Company has completed the Environmental Impact Assessment involving social impacts. The public hearing for the same was conducted in July 2015 and Environment Clearance was obtained in January 2016.
HZL, Zawar Group of mines, Rajasthan operates at an annual ore production capacity of 1.2 mn MT.
As part of the on-going expansion programme, ore production capacity will be increased to 4 mn MT per annum for which the Company has already received Terms of Reference from the Government and is planning to conduct Environment and Social Impact studies by FY 2016-17 Q3.
Vedanta Limited, Lanjigarh
We continue to work to improve the security of raw material supplies for our Lanjigarh refinery business. During 2015, we obtained Prospecting Licences for three laterite deposits from the Government of Odisha. As per the Vedanta Sustainable Development Framework requirements, the Company will follow the necessary environment, social impact studies and host country regulations.
Vedanta Zinc International
Vedanta Zinc International has broken ground at Gamsberg, one of the world's largest undeveloped zinc deposits. This commences Vedanta's plans to turn the Southern African region into one of the most important suppliers of zinc in the world and to bring far-reaching socio-economic and environmental benefits to the region. The approach is to meet the sustainable development challenge of balancing the social and economic benefits of developing the Gamsberg project with the need to protect and preserve the unique arid zone biodiversity in the area.
Closure is not the end of the story for the mines. In fact, it is the first chapter in the long tale of recovery of the ecosystem and social renewal for communities. It is during this phase that the stakeholder gaze is intense and they expect companies to fulfil the social and environmental commitments which were made at the beginning of the project.
We consider mine closure as a core part of our business. We plan the closure right at the exploration stage and formulate a balanced, realistic and achievable plan that can be funded and supported by us, and generate long-term value for the environment and the community. As part of the plan, we strive to build a sustaining economy in the surrounding region to ensure that we leave behind a positive legacy - financially, environmentally and socially.
All our operations have Site Closure Plans in place, which are aligned with local legal requirements. In India, establishing a closure plan is a critical step in obtaining regulatory approval from the Department of Environment and the Department of Mines. These closure plans set out closure criteria, outline closure activities, establish roles and responsibilities, time-frames and resource requirements. Phased restoration and reclamation activities are carried out in consultation with the local community. We recognise the opportunity to share the lessons learnt and technical expertise between Lisheen mine and our other operations, in order to ensure full implementation of international good practice across all of our operations. However, apart from Lisheen mine we do not envisage any other planned mine closures in the near future.
The Closure Management of our Lisheen mine is a testimony of our commitment to adhere to global best practices.
Mining activity at the Lisheen mine concluded in November 2015. During 17 years of operation, it not just made a valuable contribution to us and its previous owner, but also made a positive impact on the local and national economy and created significant employment in the region. Before commencement of mining, we made a commitment to our stakeholders that we would leave the site in a safe condition that will allow productive use of the land and we are currently fulfilling those promises.
We are focussing on best-in-class closure for Lisheen mine. A biodiversity action plan is ready and a detailed and fully-costed closure, restoration and aftercare management plan is already under implementation. Our actions will fulfil two key objectives: 1) Securing the future of employees and 2) Rehabilitation and restoration of the mine site
Securing the Future of our Employees
We have implemented an outplacement programme to assist employees to secure a smooth transition to alternative employment. To allay anxiety and frustration, our teams counsel employees. To aid smooth transition, we have allocated a training grant of US$ 1,000 per employee, over and above the generous severance package of 6.75 weeks per year of service.
Rehabilitation and Restoration
of the Mine Site
As responsible stewards of Lisheen mine, our endeavour is to leave a positive legacy, transform the site into a secure and sustainable ecosystem as well as share value that keeps on giving.
The main element of the Closure Plan is the capping of the Tailings Management Facility (TMF) in a safe and environment-friendly manner. All plans have been approved by the regulators, and progressive restoration of the TMF began in 2009. We made a commitment to the local community that 60% of the TMF would be capped by the time mine production ceased; this target has been achieved and costs associated with the physical closure and rehabilitation of the site are fully pre-funded.
The rehabilitated part of the TMF has now been turned back into productive agricultural land and successful animal trials have been approved by the Irish Department of Agriculture. Environmental compliance is in accordance with the Company's EPA-issued Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Licence, and an Aftercare Fund has also been established to cover the required 6-year monitoring and 30-year aftercare period.
Lisheen mine has gone above and beyond the call of duty. It has been excellent in training and further educating employees.
Louise Cleere | Employee - Lisheen mine for 16 Years
The Gamsberg Project is actually a very good example of co-operative governance because we have been working together with the private sector which was represented by Vedanta, as well as the national Government to make sure that this development becomes a reality.
Ms. Sylvia Lucas | Fourth Premier of the Northern Cape Province, South Africa
I would like to commend the genuine commitment of Vedanta and the Lisheen Management to the workforce and the wider local community. This support was evident not only during the life of the mine but over the last two years. Intensive efforts have been made to plan for post closure investment and employment at the site, by harnessing the support of local and national Government.
Ms. Liz O'Donnell | Former Government Minister & Chairman - Lisheen mine Task Force
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