The existing bauxite processing facility, photo: Survival International
Two months after the Indian government stopped plans by UK-based Vedanta Resources to put a bauxite mine on a mountain held sacred by two indigenous tribal groups in Orissa, on the grounds that it would violate their human rights, the environmental ministry has blocked plans for a nearby refinery to expand and has found the existing portion to be in violation of environmental laws.Via Financial Times:
The ministry is all set to tell the company that its ongoing six-fold expansion of the refinery -- from an annual capacity of 1 million tonnes to 6 million tonnes -- cannot be allowed because the required environmental clearances had not been obtained. The existing operating facility of 1 million tonne itself violates forest laws and needs corrective action, ministry officials claimed.
The current refinery has been operating at full capacity since 2007, processing bauxite shipped in from neighboring Chhattisgarh, as well as from much farther afield in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
When the mine plan was blocked in August, tribal leader Kumuti Majhi said, "We are happy that the mining won't be allowed, as many would suffer for one man's profit. But the refinery should be closed down otherwise [Vedanta] will keep trying to take over our land."
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More on Vedanta Mining:
Vedanta's Controversial Bauxite Mine Violates Tribal People's Rights: Indian Govt Report
India Stops Plans to Drive Real-Life Avatar Tribe Off Land For Bauxite Mine on Sacred Mountain
Indian Tribals' Sacred Mountain Not Safe Until Vedanta Refinery Closed