SC clears hurdle in reopening of Nalco's bauxite mine

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 21:02 hrs

pThe public sector National Aluminium Company Nalco has heaved a sigh of relief with Supreme Court condoning the delay in submission of its forest diversion proposal for renewal of bauxite mine leaseppWith this the hurdles in the path of the company in obtaining a temporary working permit TWP to operate its Panchpatmali bauxite mine has been clearedppWhile seeking renewal of the Panchpatmali mining lease Nalco had applied for forest diversion one year and ten months before the expiry of the lease tenure on November 16 this year whereas the Supreme Court has stipulated that a company has to apply for forest diversion at least two years before the end of the lease periodppThis two month delay was pointed out by Union Ministry of Environment and Forest MoEF while considering Nalco&rsquos request for grant of TWP to operate the mineppThough MoEF in principle had agreed to give temporary working permit to Nalco it had asked the company to approach the apex court for condonement of the lapsepp&ldquoSupreme Court condoned the delay today and we expect the MoEF to give us working permit within a couple of day&rdquo Anshuman Das chairman and managing director Nalco told Business StandardppTWP is essential to resume mining operation by the company which has stopped bauxite excavation since November 16ppHalt of operation at Panchpatmalli mines had raised concerns on bauxite availability for Nalco&rsquos alumina refinery at Damanjodi in Koraput districtppSources said the refinery is currently running at a low capacity using the bauxite stocked up prior to the crisis The company had built up a bauxite stock of about 2 50 000 tonne but the pile was depleting fastpp&ldquoAfter today&rsquos development we expect to resume bauxite mining in another 4 to 5 days and bring back the refinery to its full capacity by the end of next week&rdquo Das saidppThe North-Central block of the Panchpatmali mine with deposits of around 300 million tonne is spread over an area of 1315 hectares ha out of which 1294 ha falls under forest landp

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