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Nalco stops Bauxite Mining in Panchpatmali Hills

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TNI Bureau: National Aluminium Company (Nalco) faced a huge setback after it stopped bauxite mining at Panchpatmali hills in Koraput district as its mines’ lease was expired. After the move, the government-owned corporation PSU will fall into deep crisis as it needs nearly 14,000 tons of bauxite per day to run its 21 lakh ton per annum capacity refinery plant at Damanjodi.

The mines’ lease period expired on November 16. Therefore, it stopped mining operations as per the rules. Company’s CMD Ansuman Das said that the plant’s stock of bauxite would last for two to three weeks. If the firm would not get permission for mining operations soon at the hills, they may go for alternative for solution.

However, the CMD denied that they have delayed in submitting the papers for renewal of mining lease to the state or the central governments. He said that all the papers were ready and sent to the state government by October 30, 2010. The entire process of renewal of lease should have been completed within one or one and half years, he expressed.

It is reported that the state government delayed in sending the papers to the Centre. Even Nalco had submitted fresh application to the state government in February seeking temporary work permission for the mining operation when it found that the process is being delayed. However, the state sent the application to the Ministry of Environment and Forest in October.

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