NALCO halts operations at bauxite mine - exec

BHUBANESWAR Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:43pm IST

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BHUBANESWAR (Reuters) - State-run National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO)(NALU.NS) has suspended operations at its only bauxite mine in Odisha as its mining lease has expired, Ansuman Das, chairman and managing director said on Monday.

The disruption at Panchpatmali mine in the Koraput district of Odisha, which has a deposit of more than 310 million tonnes of bauxite, is expected to have no immediate impact on its alumina refinery, as NALCO will apply for a temporary permit to resume mining, Das said.

"We have taken up with the government and expect to resume operations by the month end," Das told Reuters.

"For the next three weeks Nalco will stick to its commitments both in terms of sending alumina to the smelter and to meet all its export commitments," Das added.

NALCO, India's third largest aluminium producer, had applied nearly two years ago for the renewal of the lease which expired on November 16.

(Reporting by Jatindra Dash; Editing by G.Ram Mohan)

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