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Nalco seeks immediate Pottangi bauxite mine lease

The chairman and managing director of National Aluminium Company (NALCO) P K Chand urged upon Odisha government to grant the lease of Pottangi bauxite mine on an immediate basis. He put emphasis on the fact that the mine was direly needed by the Navaratna PSU in order to expedite its expansion plans and continue operations in a profitable manner over the long term.

“Pottangi bauxite mine has already been earmarked by centre and its lease sanction to Nalco is pending with the state government since long. Now we need it very urgently to set up a new alumina refinery and execute the expansion of Nalco,” said Chand in his recent visit to the state.

He said Nalco, like other aluminium producers across the world, is going through a difficult phase due to sharp decline in the metal demand in domestic as well as international market. The prices have slumped critically to reach around $ 1540 as against the high cost of production of nearly $1800. In such a situation, aluminium production is increasingly becoming economically inviable; in fact, some of the plants have already been closed. Nalco, Chand said, is determined to tide over the crisis without going in for any major cutback decision.

All aluminium producers will soon be meeting at New Delhi to devise strategies to sustainably overcome the situation. Among the plans to be considered, creation of a broad-based end user market for aluminium in India is supposed to be one. Chand also said that Nalco had already taken some initiatives like cost reduction and revenue maximization by producing value-added products.

On Saturday last week, Nalco launched ‘Nalco ki Ladli’ Scheme, to commemorate the 69th Independence Day Celebration. The new scheme was announced under union government’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme. While addressing the gathering on the occasion, Chand said that Nalco would continue its CSR and welfare activities in future as well.

He further reiterated his company’s request to the state government to allot Pottangi Bauxite Block immediately, which would not only boost Nalco's growth plans but also its social commitment to the area’s tribal community.

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