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Vedanta's alumina output dips 8% on lower bauxite availability

A source at Vedanta attributed the dip in production to logistics constraints

Jayajit Dash  |  Bhubaneswar 

Aluminium
Aluminium

production by for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 fell eight per cent year-on-year as availability from its captive mines held by Group company shrank. 

The total output in July-September quarter was 269,000 tonnes as against 292,000 tonnes achieved in the corresponding period of the last financial year. When compared to the April-June quarter, output at Vedanta's Lanjigarh refinery in south Odisha was down by 11 per cent.

A source at attributed the dip in production to logistics constraints. “There are transportation issues. We did not get sufficient rakes to carry from mines to our refining unit,” he said. The company official, however, sounded upbeat on meeting the production target for this financial year.  The company looks to close FY17 with an output of 1.8 million tonnes from the Lanjigarh refinery.

Also, the recent spike in spot global prices would not have much implication for “The recent rally in prices is the fall out of some supply shortfall in China. We believe this is a temporary phenomenon and would not hold on for long. has long-term contracts with suppliers in Guinea and and this hedges us against vacillating prices,” he added. 

The refinery located at the foothills of the laden Niyamgiri mountain range, has a rated capacity of six million tonnes per annum (mtpa). has permits to produce four mtpa. But, the refinery was operating at less than half of the approved capacity as local was unavailable.

has been running the refinery by sourcing from the mines in Chhattisgarh. It also imports the raw material from New Guinea and

After lost the bid to mine the ecologically fragile Niyamgiri hills, it has been appealing to the Odisha government for arranging local from alternative sources. Local tribes made up mostly by Dongaria Kondhs, unanimously nixed the mining plan during July-August 2013 in a referendum held as per the Supreme Court's order. Barring a few small laterite mines with traces of bauxite, the state government has not been able to come to the rescue of the starving Lanjigarh refinery.

Though the state controlled company - Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) has some good quality deposits in Karlapat, Sasubohumali and Kodingamali leases, mining as not taken off yet due to lack of regulatory clearances.

"We are open to sourcing from OMC. It could be either a long-term linkage arrangement or buying at e-auctions. is also awaiting auctions of assets in Odisha where we intend to participate," the official said.

First Published: Sat, October 14 2017. 23:12 IST
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