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Nalco resumes bauxite mining at Panchpatmali
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Monday, 24 Dec 2012

Business Standard reported that National Aluminium Company has resumed bauxite excavation at its Panchpatmali (North-Central block) mines nearly a month after it shut down operation at the site following expiry of lease deed on November 16.

The company has obtained a temporary working permit to raise mineral for a year, pending renewal of its mining lease.

A senior official of Nalco said that “We have started the mines operation today after receiving the TWP. We will complete all pending work within four months to put up our cases for lease renewal. We hope to get the lease renewal within a year.”

The mining lease of the company could not be renewed in time because of delay in holding of palli sabhas for diversion of forest land. The North-Central block of the Panchpatmali mine in Koraput district is spread over an area of 1,315 ha, out of which 1,294 ha come under forest land.

During the halt in mining operation, the production at the alumina refinery of the company at Damonjodi, located on the foothills of Panchpatmali hills, had reduced drastically. The company had built up a stock of about 250,000 tonne of bauxite, just enough to run the refinery for three weeks, anticipating freezing of mining operations.

The state government has initiated the process to lease out Pottangi bauxite mines worth 75 million tonne deposits in favour of Nalco, after the company agreed to the conditions imposed by the government. This deposit is considered crucial for Nalco’s plan to expand its metal output to 560,000 tonne a year from existing 460,000 tonne capacity.

The state steel and mines ministry wrote to the Director of Mines said that “Nalco has accepted the conditions imposed by the state government for considerations of grant of mineral concession in its favour.”

The conditions set out by the government included settlement of the water cess claims piled up against the company and commitment to carry out peripheral development work in the Pottangi area.

Source - Business Standard


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