Bhubaneswar, Aug 17: Odisha government today said it has decided to provide raw material linkage to Vedanta's alumina refinery project at Lanjigarh from the Kodingamali bauxite mines in Koraput district. State-run Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) owns the mining lease of Kodingamali bauxite mines, and production is expected to start soon.
"We will make arrangements for bauxite supplies to Vedanta plant from OMC's Kodingamali mines. Bauxite supplies can take off once production starts from the mines," Odisha's Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick said. Mallick said OMC has got the mining lease of Kodingamali mines.
The bauxite mines of OMC are spread over an area of 428.31 hectares in tribal dominated Koraput and Rayagada districts. Vedanta has been running its refinery at Lanjigarh by importing bauxite from states like Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra since its inception. Odisha government has not been able to meet the refinery's raw material requirement, due to which it has not operated at its full capacity.
The company has occasionally imported bauxite from countries like New Guinea, even as Lanjigarh refinery plant is surrounded by bauxite deposits. Vedanta has been pleading for alternative bauxite mines after the Centre's Environment Ministry rejected mining activities at Niyamgiri hills.
Meanwhile, Mallick said the state has been preparing for auction of five new mines, which included four limestone mines and one manganese mine located in Malkangiri, Nuapada and Bargargh. "We will be able to go for public auction by first week of September," Mallick said.