MAC: Mines and Communities

Meanwhile, the world's largest mining company, BHPBilliton, has stepped in to the disputed area, j

Published by MAC on 2005-01-12

Meanwhile, the world's largest mining company, BHPBilliton, has stepped in to the disputed area, just as Vedanta is told to desist.

At BHPBilliton's UK Annual General Meeting, late last year, CEO Chip Goodyear claimed he didn't even know which part of Orissa the company had its eyes on at the time. He said that any aluminium project was speculative and far off in the future. Goodyear also refused to promise to discontnue discontinue dealings with the corrupt Orissa chief minister, Naveen Patnaik.

No wonder - for his company must have been involved in such negotiations, even as he spoke.

BHP Billiton submits alumina plant proposal to Orissa government

Commodities Research Unit, London

January 12 2005

BHP Billiton has submitted a proposal to the government of Orissa to construct a 1.5 million tonne alumina plant in the Kalahandi district.

BHP Billiton officials met with Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik last Friday to discuss the project, but as yet have not disclosed what area they propose to set up their alumina refinery.

BHP Billiton has an agreement with Sulakhana Mines, which have been allotted the Karlapat mines in Kalahandi.

The Karlapat mines, which hold proven deposits of over 150 million tonnes, have also been promised to Vedanta Aluminium, who is currently facing opposition to its bauxite mining plans in Kalahandi.

A Supreme Court environment committee has today objected Vedanta’s Rs 4,000-crore project in Orissa saying their mining activity in Niyamgiri, in Kalahandi, will have an adverse impact on the environment.

BHP Billiton is said to also be considering other bauxite mine development opportunities in Orissa given the current controversies facing mining in the Kalahandi district.

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