State to decide on bauxite for VAL

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) has woken up, albeit belatedly to apply the state government for bauxite mining lease from Karlapat deposits for Vedanta Aluminium’s (VAL) Lanjigarh refinery, which was shut on December 5 due to shortage of raw materials.

The state chief secretary is expected to convene a meeting today to take a decision on an alternate bauxite source for VAL.

According to sources, the Karlapat bauxite mines in Kalahandi district spreading over 3,1183 hactare is estimated to have about 200 million tonne bauxite. Officials on condition of anonymity however said, even as the state government permits mining at Karlapat, it would take more than two years to start operation of the mine due to the statutory clearances.

OMC had entered into a MoU with VAL for supply of bauxite from its Niyamgiri mines in Kalahandi district. But persistent protests by tribal community and green activists led to the cancellation of forest clearance for the mining activity by Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) in August 2010.