The Ministry may also scrap the environmental clearance for Vedanta’s existing alumina refinery in Orissa state.

The company has been served a notice why environment clearance for its existing 1Mt/y alumina refinery should not be cancelled. Vedanta sources bauxite from Jharkhand but the Indian ministry said that many of the mines do not have valid environmental clearances.

According to the Indian environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, Vedanta violated laws and the Niyamgiri Hills mining project in Orissa will not be given the go ahead unless the Indian Forest Act is complied with.

“There has been violation of the Indian Forest Rights Act 2006, Indian Environment Protection Act, 1966 and the Indian Forest Conservation Act 1980. Therefore, the project cannot go ahead,” he said.

Reacting to the development, Vedanta said, “…there has been no regulatory violation of any kind at the Lanjigarh Alumina refinery. Vedanta is not in possession of the Niyamgiri mine and no mining activity has been or will be undertaken until all approvals are in place.”