Vedanta proposes alternate sources for bauxite

In a bid to restart its alumina refinery in Kalahandi, closed since December 5, 2012, due to paucity of bauxite, Vedanta Aluminium today gave the Orissa government a number of alternative sources from where it can source the ore.

Vedanta Aluminium, which runs a 1 million tonne alumina refinery in Kalahandi district, shut down after the environment ministry nixed its plans of mining Niyamgiri in August 2010.

Vedanta Aluminium chief operating officer Mukesh Kumar, who met the inter-ministerial committee of the state government on formulation of a policy for offering raw materials today said he has given a number of options for sourcing of bauxites.

"We told the director of mines about some 15-16 bauxite deposits where excavation have already happened, but the mines are no longer operating. It would be more beneficial to get bauxite from these mines than sourcing it from Gujarat," said Kumar.

"In Kalahandi and Rayagada districts, there are several small bauxite deposits in non-forest areas which can be looked at. If we get these deposits we would be comfortable for next 2 years," he said. "We are no longer looking at big deposits. Several smaller deposits which can be started quickly, can save Vedanta," the COO said.

The company even proposed starting a beneficiation plant for retrieving bauxite from laterite.

The inter-ministerial group would soon give its report on Vedanta's suggestion.

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