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1 Jan 2019

Dhanya Ann Thoppil, Nikkei Asian Review, Japan

India: Environmental tribunal allows Vedanta to restart key copper smelter

"India environmental tribunal allows Vedanta to restart key copper smelter", 17 December 2018

An Indian environmental court allowed Vedanta to resume operations of its copper smelter in sourthern Tamil Nadu that had remained shut for more than six months following a state government order amid allegations of pollution...In May, [the company] was forced to permanently shut its Sterlite copper smelter in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu...after protests by environmentalists turned violent. As many as 13 people were killed in an ensuing police shootout. Following the incident, the state government cut off the power supply to the smelter, India's second-largest.

The smelter had not been operational since March as the state pollution control board refused to issue its consent for operating the plant...According to local media reports, the Tamil Nadu government is likely to challenge the tribunal's order in India's Supreme Court...

Vedanta faced another major setback in India in February, when it was forced to close down its iron ore mine in the western Indian state of Goa after the Supreme Court quashed all iron-ore mining permits and mining in the state...