September 3, 2012 / 3:20 PM / in 5 years

Vedanta calls for India to restrict bauxite exports

BHUBANESWAR, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Vedanta Aluminium has called on the Indian government to restrict bauxite exports and allow more mines to ensure that the country’s domestic industry, including Vedanta’s own alumina refinery, has sufficient supplies.

The company’s refinery in India’s eastern Odisha state has been operating at 70 percent of its capacity of 1 million tonnes of alumina production per year, because it cannot obtain its requirement of 10,000 tonnes of bauxite a day.

India, the world’s fifth-biggest bauxite producer, has been limiting the issuance of bauxite leases mainly due to local protests over land acquisition. Eastern Odisha state has the largest reserve of the resource.

“At this crucial junction, allowing bauxite exports at the cost of domestic industry by some of the state governments, when the domestic aluminium industry is suffering for want of bauxite, cannot be justified in the national interest,” Vedanta Aluminium, part of London-listed Vedanta Resources, said in a letter to the ministry of mines.

The federal government should also make efforts to open new bauxite mines in eastern Odisha state and southern Andhra Pradesh, which account for 2.5 billion tonnes of reserves, the company said.

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