After failing to resolve ore crisis, Vedanta Alumina Limited (VAL) here on Tuesday announced to shut down its one million tonne per annum alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district from Wednesday.

VAL had issued a three-month closure notice on September 5 this year. “Despite our concerted efforts over the past three months to ensure sustainable supplies of bauxite for our Lanjigarh refinery we have not been able to find any solution. For the last three days we have run the unit at around 20 per cent of the capacity and on the December 5 we have been forced to close down the unit due to dwindling stocks of bauxite,” said Dr. Mukesh Kumar, CEO of VAL, in a statement.

In spite of the company’s top management having several rounds of meetings and discussions with the State Chief Minister and Chief Secretary for bauxite provision to the refinery, no concrete solution has been be arrived upon, VAL said.

“With bauxite stock depleting to almost ‘zero level’, the company is left with no other alternative but to shut down the refinery, whose closure is expected to affect around 7000 people engaged directly or indirectly with the plant,” it said.

In the month of October, the company had temporarily stopped operating its refinery facility citing non-availability of bauxite ore to feed the plant.

Vedanta Group spent Rs. 5000 crore for setting up alumina refinery at Lanjigarh and proposed to invest Rs. 4000 crore for expansion, which was held up, company sources said. Mr. Kumar had earlier said the company had incurred around Rs. 2500 crore of loss on account of unavailability of raw materials.

Vedanta’s Lanjigarh project has been embroiled court cases over its proposal to source bauxite from Niyamgiri Hill Range which inhabited by primitive Dongria Kondh tribe.

  • Unable to resolve ore crisis, VAL issued closure notice on Sept 5

  • In October, the company had temporarily stopped operations