Mumbai :  Sesa Sterlite Ltd plans to expand its iron ore operations to 36 mtpa from 16.8 mtpa currently, although the plans are currently on hold as the company is awaiting regulatory approvals, Vedanta Resources Plc said in its 2013-14 (Apr-Mar) annual report.

The company had planned a capital expenditure of $500 mln for the expansions, of which $155 mln has already been spent as on Mar 31. The company hopes to start iron ore production from its mines in Goa in the second half of this financial year, Vedanta Resources Chief Executive Officer Tom Albanese said in the annual report.

 The company expects further price rise of iron ore in the global market to be curtailed due to availability of supply from new mines globally in 2014-15. Prices of iron ore in India are also expected to remain low due to the impact of export restrictions and duties on domestic pricing. Vedanta Resources holds 58.3% stake in Sesa Sterlite.

After failing to get local gram panchayats’ nod for mining bauxite in Niyamgiri hills, Vedanta is now engaging with the Odisha government for allotment of mines elsewhere besides considering procuring bauxite from alternative sources.

 The Niyamgiri hill area is one of the sources in Odisha for supply of bauxite to the firm’s alumina refinery at Lanjigarh. Vedanta has already made it clear that it would not consider developing any bauxite resources, including Niyamgiri mines, without the invitation and consent of local communities.   -Cogencis/PTI

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