| NEW DELHI, June 16
NEW DELHI, June 16 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
Locals in the Tuticorin area of the southern state of Tamil
Nadu had complained that emissions from the plant, run by
Sterlite Industries, a unit of London-based Vedanta
Resources, 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 and
Precision Wires India Ltd.
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)