National Aluminium Ltd, the Bhubaneswar-based integrated PSU aluminium maker, is still awaiting a temporary approval from the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment (MoEF) for resumption of operations at its bauxite mine in Odisha.

Operations at its Panchpatmali in Koraput district was stopped on November 17 in absence of mine lease renewal. Now, the listed company is waiting for a one-year temporary work permit. It needs to replenish dwindling bauxite stock at its refinery at nearby Damanjodi. The decision on the temporary work permit eluded Nalco as the forest advisory committee of MoEF could not approve it at its meeting on November 27. The company spokesperson told Business Line on Tuesday: “we are expecting the communication regarding the permission any time soon”. He said the approval process for issuing the work permit was on. Work at Panchpatmali cannot be restarted until the “permission” percolates down to the district forest office for a formal notification.

Meanwhile, Nalco’s stock of bauxite has dwindled and will not last beyond this weekend. In absence of work permit, either bauxite will have to be sourced from the market or the refinery has to be shut down.

On the BSE, the Nalco stock closed slightly down at Rs 45.50.

(This article was published on December 4, 2012)
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