The original plan was to close down by December 2012, but closure was brought forward due to a lack of bauxite.
Vedanta had approached the Indian Government with a plan to build a captive bauxite mine adjacent to the Lanjigarh plant. However, environmental issues and the livelihoods of local tribals brought the plan to a halt. In fact, all plans to mine bauxite exclusively for VAL's Lanjigarh facility have been thwarted.
Ever since the plant was commissioned in August 2007 it has struggled for bauxite and while the planned captive bauxite mine development was approved by the Union Forest and Environment Ministry in 2008, it was withdrawn in 2010. Since then, VAL has been sourcing bauxite from other regions of India, such as Gujarat, but when that failed, closure beckoned.
Lanjigarh requires 10kt of bauxite per day to operate at its full capacity of 1Mt per year.
The company is trying to survive on imported bauxite, thus delaying any immediate effect on aluminium output, claims Mukesh Kumar, VAL's chief operating officer.
VAL's Lanjigarh facility supplies alumina to the company's Jharsuguda aluminium smelter in Orissa.