Session 3: Conflicting interests over resources [AMENDED JAN 2022]

Geography (Ages 11-14)
Session 3: Conflicting interests over resources [AMENDED JAN 2022]
  • Conflicting interests over natural resources
  • Causes and impacts of mining in Odisha
Key Messages
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground - conflict resolution
  • Introduction to conflicts of interest between different stakeholders
  • Understand why companies mine in regions like Odisha
  • Understand that landscape is defined by physical and human geography and can change over time
  • Discover why Odisha is suitable for mining
  • Explore the impacts of mining in Odisha
  • Examine the impacts of mining from the perspectives of different stakeholders
Links to National Curriculum

Students will begin to understand some of the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time.



  • Odisha is rich in natural resources. Project Slides 1 and 2 of MV Geography 3.1 Mining in Odisha (Powerpoint). Follow the instructions to "explore this mineral map of Odisha. Look at the list of minerals and where they are located. What can you observe and infer?" Discuss (in pairs and as a class) as appropriate. Some of the precious metals and minerals will be more familiar than others. Locate as few or as many from the list on the map as appropriate to your group. (Observe: There is a wide range of minerals in Odisha. Infer: This makes it attractive to the mining industry.)
  • Slide 3 answers the observe and infer question on Slide 2, and extends by asking, "Anything else?" Discuss as appropriate with the whole group.
  • Slide 4 poses the questions: "Did you notice the mineral called bauxite? What is bauxite?" Refer back to the previous slide if necessary to locate Odisha's bauxite. Encourage speculation. There is a photo to stimulate discssion.
  • Slide 5 Answers the question on Slide 4 with four "Bauxite facts". Importantly, bauxite is the world's main source of aluminium as well as containing several other metals.
  • Slide 6 Card sort activity. Put students in (mixed ability) groups and give them each a copy of MV Geography 3.2 Bauxite card sort. As per the instructions, "Cut out these cards and sort them into two: Those that contain bauxite products and those that don’t. When was the last time you used them? What can you infer?" (All the items named on the cards contain bauxite products, especially aluminium, except the plastic membership card).
  • Slide 7 asks when was the last time the students used a bauxite product. Discuss as appropriate. Today? This week? Ever? What, when and where?
  • Slide 8 asks, "What can we infer about bauxite?" Discuss as appopriate.
  • Slide 9 answers the question on Slide 8. "We can infer: Bauxite products have a wide variety of everyday uses. There is a great demand for bauxite products in many industries. Companies that mine bauxite can sell it easily and make profits. Anything else?" There is a lot of bauxite in Odisha.

Activity 1

  • Slide 10 Watch the documentary “Mining and Environment Odisha” on YouTube: which details some of the processes and impacts of mining different minerals in Odisha. Sometimes the accents can be difficult to understand, so suggest to students that they concentrate on understanding the gist, rather than every word. If necessary, review each section with the class to ensure general understanding.
  • The full documentary is over 40 minutes. Recommend watching the initial introduction, development, and introduction to rest of documentary (total 5 minutes). Ask the class who has produced this documentary and why. (An organisation called the Society of Geoscientists and Allied Technologists whose members include mining companies; its agenda is to promote mineral development activities in India.) In what ways does the documentary reflect the agenda of SGAT? (It acknowledges the negative impacts of mining on the environment and communities, and puts an emphasis on the need to continue mining while mitigating its negative impacts.)
  • Slide 11 At around 6.45min some of the important minerals of Odisha are individually examined. Focus on Bauxite, which is first and ends around 11.30min. Discuss in relation to the Starter. What are the impacts of its extraction? Are any steps being taken to counteract negative impacts?
  • Slide 12 Around 28.45mins there are contributions from two villagers who explain the effects of pollution on their lives. Any observations? (The translation in the subtitles might not be completely accurate. For example, the word "pani" means "water". Why might there be inaccuracies in the translations?
  • You may also want to show the section on responsible mine decommissioning (around 37.45mins) and the conclusion (at 39mins) which talks about developments over the last fifty years in practices, legislation and attitudes.

For further information:

Activity 2

  • Slide 13 Brainstorm a list of stakeholders in the mining conflict of Odisha and their main motive. The first one has been filled in to get things started: "The mining companies: They want to make a profit."
  • Hopefully the students listed some of the stakeholders in the following activity. Slide 14 Split students into up to six mixed ability groups. Each group gets one of the different accounts from MV Geography 3.3 Stakeholders in the mining conflict glued in the centre of an A3 sheet
  • Students consider the impact on the individual and locality portrayed in their story and use sketches and captions to record these on their A3 sheet
  • Impact could be split into human and physical.
  • Share group stakeholder stories and feedback impacts recorded.


  • Slide 14 Project (or print out in advance) the Odisha Mining Corporation’s Corporate Social Responsibility web page.
  • Discuss: What is the company’s perception of how they help society?
  • Discuss: How are the mining company’s perspectives similar of different to those in the Day in the Life Of activity? You may wish to go through each one individually.
  • Discuss: The concept of different backgrounds and perceptions. The different stakeholders have different needs and want different outcomes.


  • Slide 15 Print one copy per student of MV Geography 3.4 Odisha’s Story about Pollution, Mining and the Environment. Research definitions for “compromise”.
  • Highlight all the impacts of mining in Odisha in the article.
  • This will be used in the next session.