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Odisha to reapply for Karlapat bauxite mines

Hit by acute shortage of raw materials that led to closure of Vedanta’s refinery at Lanjigarh, the Odisha government said it would explore every possibility of undertaking bauxite mining at Karlapat reserve in Kalahandi district.

“We have decided to submit a revised application seeking permission of the Centre for undertaking bauxite mining at Karlapat reserve,” Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) CMD, Saswat Mishra said after attending a meeting convened by the chief secretary.

Mishra said though the state government was set to go for bauxite mining at Karlapat, it could not proceed further as the area comprised of a wildlife sanctuary. Therefore, Mishra said, the government would start a fresh field-verification at Karlapat on how to go for mining excluding the sanctuary area.

During verification, the mines department would assess the quantity of bauxite reserved outside sanctuary area, the amount of forest and non-forest land in mine-able mineral bearing area and other factors, Mishra said.

While the state government has already identified reserve of bauxite about five kilometre from the sanctuary, the Supreme Court guidelines clearly prohibited any mining activities within 10 km radius from any wildlife habitat. Karlapat reserve spread over 31,183 hectare is estimated to have about 200 million tonnes bauxite, sources said.

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