India court to continue hearing on Sterlite case on Thursday

NEW DELHI Wed May 22, 2013 5:31am EDT

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NEW DELHI May 22 (Reuters) - An Indian court will continue hearing into complaints of emissions from the country's largest copper smelter, shut since March 30, on a daily basis from Thursday, a judge said.

"We will continue hearing on a day-to-day basis," Justice Swatanter Kumar of the National Green Tribunal, a fast-track environmental court, said on Wednesday.

The Sterlite Industries plant has been shut since nearly eight weeks after residents complained of emissions that led to breathing problems. The case was transferred to Delhi from a southern India branch of the court on April 29.

The smelter's closure had pushed about 3,000 tonnes per day of copper concentrates onto the market. The plant produces 30,000 tonnes of refined copper a month and nearly half of the output goes to China.

A routine shutdown at rival Hindalco Industries has led to a severe shortage of copper for cable makers and potential manufacturing delays. (Reporting by Krishna N Das; editing by Malini Menon)

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