A new player in India’s bauxite ore sector could be mere weeks away, as the state-owned firm Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) revealed yesterday that it plans to commence mining at Kodingamali bauxite quarry within two months.
OMC’s managing director R. Vineel Krishna told domestic media that the company has all the proper permits in hand to begin bringing bauxite to the surface.
“We have all clearances in place for Kodingamali. Hopefully, mining activity will take off in two months,” he explained.
A new domestic bauxite source is great news for India’s alumina refineries, as the lion’s share of bauxite comes from overseas. Vedanta’s Lanjigarh refinery stands to gain the most from a new source nearby, as the firm has had to scrape together bauxite ore from sources in other states and overseas. Though the company made significant efforts at mining in the southern parts of the state, opposition from local groups proved to be insurmountable.
Despite the apparent benefit to both parties of a supplies agreement, Krishna indicates that OMC is not planning such with Vedanta.
“Companies can source bauxite from OMC at auctions or through long-term linkages. Industries without captive bauxite sources can buy from us,” said Krishna.
OMC’s lease at Kodingamali covers over one thousand acres and is estimated to contain 81 million metric tons of bauxite beneath its surface. If appropriately harvested, the opening of bauxite mines on the reserve may well make OMC a serious outlet for bauxite in India.
In addition to Vedanta, Anrak Aluminium has sought out bauxite from OMC. A joint venture between Penna Group and UAE’s Ras-Al-Khaimah Investment Authority, Anrak has already built out 1.5 million metric tons per annum of capacity in the area, relying upon Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) to provide sufficient bauxite to fuel such capacity. However, a dwindling supply from APMDC has prompted Anrak to seek out new sources, leading to an appeal to OMC for relief.