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With the availability of bauxite out of sight, even two months after it shut down its Lanjigarh alumina refinery, Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) has urged the Odisha government to expedite processing of the applications of state-controlled Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) for bauxite mining leases.
“We have requested the state government to expedite processing of OMC’s pending applications, especially for those bauxite leases that fall in non-forest areas. These applications are either at the PL (prospecting licence) or ML (mining lease) stage. There also are iron ore leases of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Rungta Mines, where iron deposits have exhausted. These leases are with proven bauxite availability. We have suggested that either a private player or OMC excavate bauxite from these leases to feed our refinery,” said Mukesh Kumar, chief executive officer, VAL-Lanjigarh.
Some small bauxite deposits where OMC has applied for ML include six in Koraput district; one in Kalahandi district; and four in Rayagada district.
These applications are pending at various levels. VAL says a host of bauxite deposits in Rayagada fall in non-forest areas.
The company has filed 26 applications for bauxite mining leases, of which 14 are at the PL stage and rest at the ML stage. Pointing out that 10 bauxite deposits were within a 160-km radius of VAL’s refinery, the company suggested the state government allocate any of these deposits for long-term bauxite security of the plant.