VAL proposes alternative source of bauxite to run its refinery

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to resume operation of its refinery at Kalahandi district, Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) on Friday provided options before the state government's inter-ministerial group.
"We have given various options to the ministerial group to arrange alternative source of bauxite in order to maintain our plant at Lanjigarh. We will operate the plant as soon as we get the raw material," VAL chief operating officer (COO) Dr Mukesh Kumar told reporters.
VAL, which stopped operation of its 1 mtpa aluminium refinery at Lanjigarh due to scarcity of bauxite on December 5 last year, said a number of small deposits of bauxite in different places in the state remained unutilised since a long time.
"These small bauxite reserves are not given to any company. They lie with the state government. Many of them are located in non-forest areas also," Kumar claimed, adding, that apart from this a number of closed bauxite mines can also be revived to meet the needs of VAL.
"Let us survive first. Then we can think of long term ore supply to the refinery. The long term ore linkage can be made within one and half-a-years," Kumar said in reply to a query.
The closure of the refinery has left many people in difficulty besides affecting the local soci-economic situation, he said.
Kumar said, "If aluminium plant is not run in Odisha, it cannot be made operational anywhere in India. Odisha is the only place where both bauxite and coal are available." 
While there were 300 million tons of bauxite reserved in the state, VAL required only 3 million tons, said Kumar adding that the ministerial group has assured him to analyse the options put by the company.
"We are positive about getting supply of bauxite by the state owned Odisha Mining Corporation," Kumar said.
He said the company would be able to run the plant if Delhi High Court judgement on August 2012 is implemented. "If the judgement is implemented, we can get bauxite from Chhattishgarh and Jharkhand," Kumar said.
"We have received the VAL's sugestions. The group will discuss on it. Anyway, it is upto the state government to take any decision," said finance minister Prasanna Acharya who heads the miniserial group.