Vedanta hopeful of receiving ore for Lanjigarh refinery

Bhubaneswar: Close on the heels of inter-ministerial committee’s July 18 report to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on long-term linkage policy for supply of ore to local industries, Vedanta Alumina Limited (VAL) on Monday expressed hope to receive ore from the State Government to run its Lanjigarh refinery in Kalahandi district at full capacity.
 
“We have resumed operations at the (Lanjigarh) plant at reduced capacity but are very hopeful to get something positive response from the committee’s report,” Vedanta COO Mukesh Kumar told media after meeting chief secretary JK Mohapatra at the secretariat here. 
 
“In our presentation to the ministerial committee on February 15 this year, we had clearly mentioned everything about our plans as well as the alternative sources of bauxite to keep alive the refinery. And we hope that the committee's report will be positive,” added Kumar. The company citing lack of raw material had shut the alumina refinery on December 5 last year.
 
“See, looking at the large bauxite deposits in Odisha, if plants won't operate here, then where they will run,” quipped Kumar.
 
The company official however preferred not to comment on the ongoing gram sabhas in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts which will decide the fate of the company’s proposed bauxite mining project at the mineral rich Niyamgiri hills.
 
Vedanta on Friday received a major blow after the tribal residents of Serkapadi village in Rayagada district unanimously rejected mining at the Niyamgiri hills asserting their religious and cultural rights at the first gram sabha.
 
The State Government will conduct a dozen such village level meetings in two districts and send the objections of the tribal residents to the Centre.