VAL likely to resume Lanjigarh refinery ops by month end

Bhubaneswar: Six months after Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) downed the shutter of its one million tonne alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, the company now hopes to resume operations of the unit sometime by end of this month, according to a company official.
 
"We are exploring the possibilities of restarting this refinery (Lanjigarh) by sourcing bauxite from whichever source we can for the time being. Even if we can start with part operations for the time being….To do so by the end of this month,” VAL managing director SK Roongta told reporters after a meeting with Chief Secretary B K Patnaik here at the secretariat. 
 
The company’s move assumes significance as the State government last week started the process to hold Gram Sabhas in 12 Niyamgiri Hill slope villages under the jurisdiction of Rayagada and Kalahandi districts, following a Supreme Court directive empowering the village committees to decide on the extraction of minerals in Niyamgiri Hills. 
 
The apex court has given the State government three months time to complete the Gram Sabhas.
 
The proposed mining at Niyamgiri Hills is significant as the state government had committed to Vedanta Group to supply required bauxite to its refinery from Niyamgiri Hills. 
 
However, local people are opposed to such an idea as they considered the Hill as their God.
 
On December 5, 2012 VAL closed its Lanjigarh alumina refinery citing paucity of bauxite.
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