Hearing on OMC plea for Niyamagiri mining in SC today

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court will hear today the petition of Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) for mining bauxite from Niyamgiri hill for Vedanta in Kalahandi district.

Earlier on December 6, 2012, the apex court, hearing a petition of OMC, had sought complete report regarding the execution of forest right from state and Centre to which both agreed to produce the report. The court had fixed January 11 for the next hearing.

OMC had filed a petition in the apex court after Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) withdrew forest clearance for mining bauxite from Niyamgiri hill of Kalahandi district in 2010 for Vedanta Alumina plant. The MoEF had refused OMC to use the hill for mining citing it as sacred for the local people. The ministry also alleged that Vedanta violated the Forest Rights Act (FRA) in the hill.

Challenging the order of MoEF, the OMC filed a suit in the Supreme Court seeking permission for mining from bauxite hub.

Notably, Vedanta closed its Lanjigarh refinery citing scarcity of bauxite, the primary raw material to refine aluminum. Later, the company requested state government for alternative source of bauxite.