The mining sector is a core driver of a nation’s economic development. The National Mineral Policy, 2019 (‘NMP’) has aptly stated about its importance that, “Minerals are a valuable natural resource being the vital raw material for the core sectors of the economy. Exploration, extraction and management of minerals have to be guided by national goals and perspectives, to be integrated into the overall strategy of the country’s economic development. Endeavour shall be to promote domestic industry, reduce import dependency, and feed into Make in India initiative.”
Mining sector is a major contributor to the social development of the country as it supports employment of a large number of people. Additionally, the companies involved in the sector contribute significantly to the development of the community as part of its CSR policy. Let us look at some of the mining companies that take CSR seriously.
Top Mining Companies for CSR in India
Vedanta Limited not only supports agriculture and rural development but also has a host of CSR initiatives focusing on themes such as water, energy and carbon management. The group has adopted advanced technologies to optimise water consumption, enhance energy productivity, mitigate climate change and safeguard diversity through their group companies including Hindustan Zinc (HZL), Cairn Oil & Gas, Electrosteels Steel, Sesa Iron Ore Business and Vedanta Aluminium.
In its recently released annual report, Vedanta has said that it has spent Rs. 331 crores on social impact initiatives in FY2021. The company has demonstrated its commitment towards community development and social welfare by spending 28 per cent or Rs 93 crore more than the stipulated requirement. During FY2020, the company had spent Rs 296 crore on its CSR initiatives.
Over the years, Vedanta has built some of the most recognised and impactful CSR programmes in India. The company’s CSR expenditure, which is among the highest by India Inc, has been spread across the company’s core impact areas of education, health, sustainable livelihoods, women empowerment, sports and culture, environment and community development. Each of the Group business units played its part by executing the respective CSR agenda, in line with the Group guidelines.
The company’s CSR initiatives have benefitted about 42 million individuals across the country in the last financial year. Additionally, with its resource efficiency initiatives, it has managed to conserve 1.89 million GJ of energy and achieved a 30.7 per cent of water recycling rate in its operations.
Vedanta has recently announced the Anil Agarwal Foundation initiative of Swasth Gaon Abhiyan and has created a roadmap to spend Rs 5,000 crore over the next five years to provide end-to-end healthcare to communities across 24 districts in 12 states. Its flagship initiative for women and children, Nand Ghar has touched a new milestone, with the setting up of 2,400 Nand Ghars across 11 states as it continues to pave the way for the model Anganwadi ecosystem. The initiative aims to touch the lives of 7 crore children and 2 crore women.
This Central Public Sector Enterprise is the largest coal producer in the world. Coal India and its subsidiaries spent a whopping Rs. 587.84 Crore on CSR activities in FY20.
The “poor and needy” are the main beneficiaries of the CPSE’s CSR initiatives. Premashraya in Kolkata provides accommodation for free or at highly subsidized rates to underprivileged cancer patients and their families. Special cancer awareness sessions are aimed at preventing and early detection of the disease. Kolkata was chosen for this CSR intervention as after Tata Medical Centre (TMC) was founded, a large chunk of patients from Northeast and Eastern India go to TMC for cancer treatment.
The rural development project provides the scope of working holistically for the development of a rural area and transcends the sectoral boundaries. Oil India Limited undertook holistic development of 40 Villages in Purulia District, West Bengal. Purulia district is one of the backward districts of West Bengal. A part of the district lies close to the coalfield areas of Eastern Coalfields Ltd. (ECL), a subsidiary of CIL.
Oil India installed 11,483 Integrated Domestic Energy Systems (IDES). An IDES comprises one Solar Household Light and one Improved Cook Stove. The improved cook stove is an innovative stove which produces less smoke and ignites fuel quickly. Less smoke improves the quality of life of women and reduces the chances of lung diseases in future. People are able to extend their work hours till late night due to the solar lights, women are having better quality of life due to Improved Cook Stoves and Solar Street Lights have helped the society at large with better illuminated streets at night. The company constructed individual household toilets in 40 villages in conjunction with the government goal to make villages Open Defecation Free (ODF).
Coal India set up 40 KRCs (knowledge recreation centre) in 40 schools for children with the aim of imparting them basic computer education and providing them with contemporary knowledge through books.
NLC India Limited
NLC India Limited is a ‘Navratna’ government of India company in the fossil fuel mining sector in India and thermal power generation. As a socially responsible corporate citizen, the company continues to carry out developmental works in the surrounding villages, focusing on the socio-economic development of the operating regions for achieving inclusive growth.
The Company’s CSR initiatives focus on Healthcare, Education, Sanitation, Safe Drinking Water, Hunger, Poverty and Malnutrition Eradication, Women Empowerment, Gender Equality, Environment Sustainability, Rural Sports, protection of National Heritage, Arts and Culture, Rural Development, Water Resource Augmentation. During the year 2019-20, NLC India spent about 75.66 crores (including a contribution of 20 crores to PM CARES Fund) which is more than 2% of the average net profits of the Company for the last three years.
The company was conferred with “National Project Excellence Award 2019” for successful commissioning of Clean and Green Solar Power Project. It was also recognised at the PRSI National Awards for its outstanding contributions in the field of RTI and CSR.
National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) is a PSU that was awarded Navratna status in 2008. Rather than clubbing the transformation of tribal villages with the generic focus area of rural development, public sector firm NMDC has an Integrated Village Development plan that encompasses healthcare, education, infrastructure, livelihood and skill development, culture and sustainable agriculture. Tribal villages in conflict-prone zones have benefited greatly from these CSR initiatives of NMDC.
Most of the flagship CSR initiatives are running the conflict zone of Bastar in Chhattisgarh. NMDC spent Rs. 199.99 crore on corporate social responsibility this year. Healthcare, education, sanitation, safe drinking water, rural infrastructure development and employable skill development are the core focus areas for CSR. NMDC started the Integrated Village Development programme in 2009 to empower adivasi and rural groups with the concept of model villages. IVD started with just two villages, and has expanded into 18 model villages benefitting 20,000 people in remote rural areas.
National Aluminium Company Limited, abbreviated as NALCO, is a government company having integrated and diversified operations in mining, metal and power under the ownership of Ministry of Mines, Government of India. At NALCO, “Let all be happy” is the guiding spirit which is embedded in the company’s CSR logo. The company has come to represent a better quality of life for communities residing in the vicinity of its plants and facilities.
To develop Puri as an iconic place, National Aluminium Corporation (NALCO) has taken up several CSR projects. Some of these are illuminating the Jagannath temple, battery-operated vehicles for easy mobility of pilgrims, thematic wall paintings of VIP road, development and beautification of Gandhi park, renovation of museum inside the temple and development of heritage corridor.
In response to the clarion call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a Clean India, NALCO has been actively engaged in Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan activities across the country. The company has vowed to make its peripheral villages Open Defecation Free – 6 at Damanjodi and 5 at Angul – by providing Individual House Hold Latrines to 1774 households with water facility. However, there isn’t much clarity on the progress on these interventions.