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MINES IN INDIA
In country like India, mining industry is one of the major economicactivities which contributes significantly to its GDP. The contribution made by the mining industry towards the GDP varies from 2.2% to 2.5%. The mining industry provides employment opportunities to 700,000 people. Apart from this the mining industry is also infamous for issues such as human rights violation and environmental pollution.
Kudremukh Iron Ore Company LTD
Kudremukh is a breathtaking mountain range located in Chikamagalur, Karnataka. It is an important place for the southern part of India as three rivers originate from here. This region was ecologically very sensitive because it was a lifeline for south India. In 1967, The National Mineral Development Corporation was conducting a prospecting survey and obtained a mining license from the Government of India. In 1969, Kudremukh Iron Ore Company was formed when the government floated a public sector undertaking and the NMDC had to turnover its 30-year lease to KIOCL. The KIOCL’s mining activity flourished and made it Asia’s largest mining company. However, the majority of the surrounding communities were fearful about the possible impacts of the massive mining operations on the forest region. But the government of Karnataka declared the Kudremukh region as a national park under the Wildlife Protection Act in 1985. The area leased to KIOCL was enclaved within the southern part of the national park and the company soon faced blacklash from the wildlife conservationist and many environment protection organizations staged rallies against the operations of KIOCL. This started awareness about the sensitive issue within the state. The Karnataka Irrigation Department conducted a study which stated that the surrounding had 20 times more slit loads.
Despite the measures taken by the Karnataka government, there is grave concern over the ecological fallout because of unabated mining. The company’s decision to move the height of the Lakya dam by 35 meters which was without prior permission from the state government has submerged 340 hectares of land outside the leased area. A crack appeared in the dam which aggravated the situation forcing the township and villages, 45km ahead of the river to evacuate. There is still a threat of the dam collapsing even though the crack has been fixed. However, Kiocl remained unaffected by these environmental disasters and proposed to build another dam called Kachige Holey to hold up much more slit deposits. The company faced tremendous backlash from the public and had to scrap its new project. The pipes carrying iron ore broke during February 2000 and polluted river Bhadra. All these did not bring the operations of Kiocl to halt. However the company continued its mining activities even after the expiry of the temporary work permit and the lease period. The Supreme Court then ordered to shut the whole mining operation in Kudremukh.
The government of Karnataka banned export and mining of iron ore in 2010. The illegal mining was swept off cleanly when the state government decided to uphold the decision of the Supreme Court. In this situation, the government had to work to ensure there is sustainability in the mining industry within the state. The company failed to take measures and today the state of Karnataka is seen as a model state when it comes to ecologically sustainable mining.
This situation has led to several restrictions in the mining industry and had resulted in the loss of jobs and the new investment in the industry has been impacted.
NEW CREST MINING
New Crest mining is an Australia based mining company and its operations include exploration, development, mining and sale of gold and gold-copper concentrate. It owns and operates mines in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Ivory Coast.
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The only dilemma that is bothering New Crest Mining LTD is the industry’s waste management issue. Along with the environmental issue the company also wants to improve the working condition. This particular company is a perfect example of how sustainability is planned and achieved. According to the company’s MD Sandeep Biswas “There is no important aim in New Crest than the elimination of fatality. We will never be satisfied with our performance until we reach this objective”. The three pillars of the company’s safety transformation are a strong safety culture, critical control of every high-risk task and robust process safety system.
Apart from the safety transformation, the company also wants to achieve safe, efficient, responsible and profitable mining. The company believes that sustainability can be achieved only when the stakeholders are happy about the operations of the company. Hence to improve better relations with its stakeholders, the company reviews its governance and ethical practices keeping the Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations of the Australian Security Exchange. The company engages with the government and communities proactively, where they operate with the concept that different stakeholders have different perspectives and expectations from their activities.
The main aspect of any mining company is concerns regarding environmental issues and its impact. The company has a very strong environmental policy that stresses on water management and disposal of waste from the factories. The company has adopted a water accounting framework to support the sustainability of water according to the Minerals Council of Australia.
The company seeks to utilize energy sources efficiently to minimize the overall emission of greenhouse gases and energy use. New Crest actively manages its profile by associating with climate change developments and regulatory programs.
The company has come up with different policies in case of code of conduct include
1) Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
2) Communities Policy
3) Diversity Policy
4) Donations Policy
5) Environment Policy
6) Safety and Health Policy and many more.
New Crest Mining provides us a well-planned framework in its operations and corporate social responsibility.
1) Irrigation Department, Government of Karnataka. 1998. Bhadra Reservoir Project. Upper Tunga Project, Shimoga
2) Karanth, K.U. 1992. Conservation Prospects for Lion Tailed Macaque in Karnataka, India. Zoo Biology 11: 33-41
3) Dinerstein E, Wikramanayake E., Robinson J., Karanth U., Rabinowitz A., Olson D., Matthew, T., Hao, P. and Connor, M. 1997. A framework for identifying high priority areas and actions for the conservation of tigers in the wild: Part I. The World Wildlife Fund, Washington D.C.
4) Karanth, K.U. 1985. Ecological status of the Lion Tailed Macaque and its Rainforest Habitats in Karnataka, India. Primate Conservation 6:73-84
5) Bird, E.C.F., Jean-Paul Dubois, and Jacques A. Iltis. 1984. The Impacts of Opencast Mining on the Rivers and Coasts of New Caledonia. The United Nations University.
6) NEERI. 2000. Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment of Kudremukh Iron Ore Mines. NEERI, Nagpur.
7) Rao, C.B.L. Irrigation Department, Government of Karnataka, 1987. Report on sedimentation surveys of Bhadra Reservoir. Karnataka Engineering Research Station, Krishnarajasagara.
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