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Fresh trouble stalks Vedanta's local bauxite hunt at Kodingamali mine

Kodingamali mine was earlier alloted to an Aditya Birla co but mining failed due to local protests

Jayajit Dash  |  Bhubaneswar 

Fresh trouble stalks Vedanta's local bauxite hunt at Kodingamali mine

Vedanta's hope to source from the Kodingamali mines of Mining Corporation (OMC) has run into rough weather. As was struggling to feed its Lanjigarh alumina refinery, the government in January this year, had struck a deal with for supply of from the latter's Kodingamali lease with 81 million tonne of deposits.
But, the going may be beset with trouble for Lok Shakti Abhiyan (LSA), a people centric organisation has filed an objection with the Ministry of environment, forest & climate change (MoEFCC) to consider various facets before allowing extraction of from the mine.

"We have filed an objection with the ministry regarding supply of to from Let there be environment impact assessment, public hearing and settlement of forest rights before the mine is opened up", said Prafulla Samantara, president of

He said the was earlier alloted to an Aditya Birla company but mining failed due to local protests.

Samantara, an environment crusader cum social activist alleged the government was manipulating situations to favour "The government has recommended grant of Kutrumali and Sijimali reserves for L&T. This is an indirect way of arranging for "

The activist shot into limelight recently by bagging the Goldman Environment prize referred to as the 'Green Nobel' in recognition of his 12-year struggle to protect the rights of the local Niyamgiri tribals. Samantara galvanised the local tribes to successfully block an attempt to mine over the hills.

He said, plans to mine on Niyamgiri has been nixed and there was no logic in allowing Vedanta's refinery project to run.

"In the interest of the state and environment concerns, Vedanta's Lanjigarh plant needs to be shut down. Even the Supreme Court appointed central empowered committee had recommended that since there is no mining over Niyamgiri, the clearances granted to the plant be withdrawn", he said.

A spokesperson trashed his allegations. "You cannot stop a project just because it has no local sources. The refinery is running with all clearances in place and there are no objections to the project. The argument to shut down the alumina refinery project is not tenable."

On supplies by OMC's Kodingamali mine, he said, "We have nothing to do with the mine since it is OMC's discretion. Besides, we have no arrangement with to source from this mine."

After the Niyamgiri fiasco, has been pleading to the government to arrange supplies from alternative sources. The Lanjigarh refinery plant has a de-bottlenecked capacity of two million tonne per annum. Alumina output by was up 24% in last fiscal at the company's Lanjigarh refinery in as both streams operated, producing 1.2 mt. has permits to produce up to four million tonne of alumina every year.