Bhubaneswar, Nov 19 (Odisha.in) The state owned-National Aluminium Ltd (NALCO) on Monday said it has
shut down its only bauxite mine in Odisha’s Koraput district as its mining lease expired, however allay fears that the disruption would hit its metal output in any way.
The mining lease of Panchpatmali mine at Damanjodi, about 370 kms from here with a deposit of more than 310 million tonnes of bauxite reserve expired on Nov 16.
“We hope to resume operations at the mine on the basis of a temporary working permit which is expected by the end of this month” chairman and managing director Ansuman Das told Odisha.in.
He said the company had already initiated a process of renewal of the lease about 22 months back but the state government forwarded it to the ministry of environment and forest only in Oct this year.
The temporary working permit issue is likely to be placed before the Forest Advisory Committee of the Union ministry of Environments and Forest which is scheduled to be held on Nov 27, he said.
“We have taken up with the government and expect to resume the operation by the month end after obtaining the temporary permit” he said.
The disruption will have however no impact on company’s refinery located nearby as it has a about three week stock of more than 2.5 lakh tonnes of bauxite-the key raw material used to produce alumina.
The Nalco smelter at Angul, a different location will also not be affected as it has adequate alumina, the key raw material to produce aluminium. Das however said if the clearance gets delayed further definitely the company will get into to problems.
“For the next three weeks Nalco has all its commitment both in terms of sending alumina to smelter and to meet out all its export commitments” he said.
NALCO is Asia’s largest integrated aluminium producer. It had produced 50.03 lakh tonnes of bauxite, 16.87 lakh tonnes of alumina and 4.13 lakh tonnes of Aluminium in 2011-2012 fiscal.
S.S. Mohapatra (director production) of the aluminum maker told Odisha.in the disruption at the mine is unlikely to hit company’s yearly output target. "We expect to meet our annual production target" he said.