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Vedanta Resources to restart iron ore mining operations in Karnataka, India


Vedanta Resources, an India-focused metals and mining company headquartered in the UK, is planning to resume its iron ore mining operations in the Indian state of Karnataka from June, following the lifting of a 21-month ban.

India's Supreme Court suspended extraction in the south-west Indian state in 2011 pending a probe into violations of mining regulations.

The court lifted to ban last month to allow Vedanta's iron ore unit Sesa Goa Ltd. (SESA) and eight other companies to restart operations.

But an iron ore mining ban established last September in neighbouring Goa will continue for the forseeable future.

Karnataka, in July 2010, barred iron-ore exports to increase local supplies but Vedanta Resources chief executive officer Mahendra Singh Mehta told the Wall Street Journal that the ban will not hurt his business "because there is a significant latent potential demand of iron ore within the state of Karnataka itself."

But the company said in a statement that iron ore businesses in Goa and Karnataka during fiscal 2013 were impacted by the mining bans, which reduced its operating profit by $485.3m compared to last year.

Separately, Mehta said that the company expects closure of the Lanjigarh alumina refinery in the Indian state of Orissa to be temporary, and is closely working with the state-owned Orissa Mining (OMC) to gain alternative sources of bauxite, the publication reported.

Last month, India's top court ruled that the decision to allow Vedanta Resources to mine bauxite in two districts of the eastern state of Orissa rests with local tribes.

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