Copper smelter Sterlite re-opens after protests: sources

NEW DELHI Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:24pm IST

A general view shows Sterlite Industries Ltd's copper plant in Tuticorin, in Tamil Nadu April 5, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

A general view shows Sterlite Industries Ltd's copper plant in Tuticorin, in Tamil Nadu April 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's top copper smelter re-opened on Sunday after complaints from residents forced a two-month shutdown, a company source directly involved with the court-mandated process and a source at a local pollution board told Reuters.

Locals in the Tuticorin area of Tamil Nadu had complained that emissions from the plant, run by Sterlite Industries STRL.NS, a unit of London-based Vedanta Resources (VED.L), were causing breathing problems.

"We have restarted the plant in the presence of the court-appointed panel," the company source told Reuters. "It should ramp up to full capacity in about five days."

The ensuing shutdown had squeezed domestic copper supplies and boosted imports and prices and the reopening will come as a relief to cable makers such as Finolex Cables Ltd (FNXC.NS) and Precision Wires India Ltd (PRWR.NS).

But it will further deplete already tight global stocks of copper concentrate, which is produced by mines and sold to smelters and refiners who treat the ore and refine the copper.

Authorities shut the plant on March 30, but a Supreme Court decision on June 10 said the plant could re-open. The smelter re-opened under the supervision of a court-appointed safety panel, which visited the site on Sunday.

Sterlite denies that the emissions from the plant are dangerously high. The smelter produces 30,000 tonnes of refined copper per month, or more than half of India's total production.

(Writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Jason Neely)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Markets

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Banned From Bidding

Banned From Bidding

India bans Finmeccanica from bidding for contracts amid graft case.  Full Article 

Sugar Talk

Sugar Talk

Sugar export rebound at risk from rising domestic prices.  Full Article 

GDP Preview

GDP Preview

Economy likely grew faster in June quarter: Reuters poll.  Full Article 

New Ordeal

New Ordeal

After disasters, stricken Malaysia Airlines staff brace for job cuts.  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

Kleiner to invest in messaging startup Snapchat at near-$10 bln valuation - report.  Full Article 

Expert Zone

Expert Zone

Column - Why inflation is so persistent.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage