Sterlite to acquire more copper mines

CHENNAI, AUG. 30. Sterlite Industries proposes to acquire more copper mines to assure reliable raw material supply to its copper smelter unit in Tuticorin.

By this the group, which recently acquired two mines at Tasmania and Queensland for $45 million hopes to substitute the nearly 50 per cent raw material import, said Mr. Navin Agarwal, Director, Sterlite Industries.

Speaking to presspersons at the award of ISO 14001 (for environment management systems) and OHSAS 18001 (for occupational health and safety) certification of Det Norske Veritas of Netherlands on Sterlite Copper here recently, he said the company was evaluating several mines abroad as also the expansion of the smelter unit.

On Sterlite's takeover of the State-owned BALCO, he said 385 out of the 408 pots at the aluminium unit were operating and plans were afoot to hike the capacity from one lakh tonnes to 1.5 lakh tonnes in the next 18 months at a cost of around Rs.1,000 crores. For the while, Sterlite was keen on improving BALCO's efficiency by ``de-bottlenecking the operations''.

Presenting the awards, Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, Chairman, M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), said ``good ecology means good business''. Commending Sterlite for the certifications, he said corporate responsibility should not be restricted to the employees and instead, should encompass the community at large.

Mr.C.V.Krishnan, CEO and Director, Sterlite Copper, said the group had decided to institute an environmental achievement award from 2002 for government agency, NGO, environmental enterprise in Tamil Nadu. The MSSRF would collaborate with Sterlite for the award, which would reward enterprise, innovation in environmental enterprise.