National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco) said on Tuesday that it has resumed mine operations after a month.

On Monday, it received temporary work permit for its Panchpatmali bauxite mines in Koraput district of Odisha.

“The mining activities are in full swing since last evening,” a Nalco press note said.

The integrated aluminium maker’s mining operation was suspended on November 17 after its 30-year mining lease expired on November 16.

The company utilised the period of mine closure for maintenance work. It replaced the 14.6 km long conveyor belt ropes, which otherwise would have taken a “planned shutdown” of 17 days.

The TWP is for a period of one year. Nalco will now have to pursue the long-term renewal of mining lease before the TWP expires. A 2-month time default in 2010 for filing renewal application and inordinate delay by the Odisha Government in processing and forwarding the TWP plea to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests caused mine operation stoppage.

According to observers, as the Environment Bench of the Supreme Court has condoned the technical default, the renewal proceedings could face fewer hurdles this time around.

jayanta.mallick@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 18, 2012)
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