MAC: Mines and Communities

Indian mines ministry rejects Jindal's bauxite mining leases

Published by MAC on 2010-09-27
Source: Steelguru

But NALCO seeks to expand in Indonesia

Strenuous community efforts to halt bauxite mining proposals by Jindal, one of India's top mining and metals companies, have succeeded - at least for the time being.

Thanks partly to campaigning by Mines, Minerals & People (mm&P), the central government in Delhi has suspended the issuing of new licences in tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh until updated mining regulations are in force.

Jindal's associate in this instance was Rhas Al Khaimah (RAK), the overseas investment arm of the United Arab Emirates, which itself has a partnership with the Andhra Pradesh state government (ANRAK).

RAK is still rushing to complete construction of an alumina refinery in the same region. Just last month it announced that it wanted to secure a port for export purposes.

Meanwhile, there appears to be no stopping the country's state-owned alumininum company, NALCO, from advancing its own interests overseas.

Last week we reported that NALCO is now inviting Indonesian coal companies to offer "captive coal", partly in order to fuel its planned aluminium smelter in East Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). See: India's Nalco seeks stakes in Indonesian coal mines.

Little known - even in India - is that Nalco's partner in this US$2.5 billion coal-to-aluminium project is the same RAK that's now told it can't mine bauxite on thirteen mineral leases in Andhra Pradesh.

For further details, please see MAC's recent special report "Dark Materials":

Indian mines ministry rejected bauxite mining lease to JSW JV


20 September 2010

It is reported that mines ministry has rejected a proposal to allot bauxite mining leases to Jindal South West Limited and ANRAK a state owned company of the United Arab Emirates in the tribal dominated areas of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh.

The Centre's decision was communicated by Mr BK Handique mines minister to a delegation of the Samata a voluntary organization fighting against bauxite mining in the region in violation of tribal and environmental laws.

The minister told the delegation that his ministry had rejected the application of the AP Mineral Development Corporation for 13 mining leases for bauxite spread over a total area of 1876 hectares.

A representative of the NGO said the minister had assured them that no fresh licenses would be given now. The matter would be dealt afresh after the Mines Minerals Development Regulation Act comes into force.

This will mean that the government will have to hold fresh public hearings before granting mining leases. The Mines Ministry's decision follows the visit of an experts' team set up by the ministry of environment and forests to the tribal areas in the two coastal districts in July to study the impact of mining on the environment.

The APMDC had entered into agreements with the ANRAK and Jindal South West Limited in 2007 for bauxite mining and setting up of refineries. While the ANRAK has got bauxite mining franchise in Chintapalli and Alumina Refinery project at Makavaripalem in Narasipatnam Division of Visakhapatnam district, Jindal South West Limited has bagged an Alumina Refinery near Srungavarapukota in Vizianagaram district and has the franchise to mine bauxite from Araku area.

(Sourced from Tribune News Service)

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