NEW DELHI May 14 India's largest copper smelter
will remain shut until at least May 16 after a New Delhi court
said it would resume a hearing then, extending a near seven-week
closure at the facility which meets half of India's demand for
Justice Swatanter Kumar of the National Green Tribunal, a
fast-track environmental court, said on Tuesday the court would
continue with arguments in the case on Thursday.
The Sterlite Industries plant was shut on March 30
after residents complained of emissions that led to breathing
problems. The case was transferred to New Delhi from a southern
India branch of the court on April 29.
The smelter's closure tightened supply of refined copper,
driving up the price for Indian consumers. With the smelter out
of action, other smelters in the region were able to raise their
processing fees for copper concentrates, the raw material they
The plant produces 30,000 tonnes of refined copper a month
and nearly half of the output goes to China.