After the shutdown of Vedanta Aluminium's one-million tonne alumina refinery at Lanjigarh on December 5, the Odisha government seems to have woken up, albeit belatedly, to the raw material crisis that has stalked the company for last five years.
In a bid to help revive operations of the Lanjigarh refinery, the steel & mines department has started the process of identifying prospected bauxite deposits where mining operations can commence with the statutory clearances.
The department has urged the mines directorate to furnish the status of Niyamgiri, Karlapat and other prospected bauxite deposits which are available for taking up mining operations directly by the state government or through Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).
The director of mines said finding such a deposit will take some time. “It will take at least three months to find out the deposits, boundary area demarcation and other issues of possible bauxite mines including information from the state geology department. Then only we can suggest a name,” said Deepak Mohanty, director of mines with the Odisha government.
Searching for an alternative bauxite source became necessary as VAL blamed the Odisha government for not keeping its promises made in the MoU to provide bauxite linkage to its alumina refinery.