By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, March 16, 2019: Vedanta Ltd – a mega metals and mining conglomerate has been able to cut down 14 per cent cost in its alumina making cost in Q3 of this fiscal to $308 per tonne, down from $358 in the previous quarter.

The company attributed the fall in costs to higher sourcing of bauxite from government controlled firm Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and larger availability of linked coal supplies during the quarter.

Vedanta has a long-term linkage arrangement with OMC to source 70 per cent of the extracted bauxite at the latter’s Kodingamali mines in southern Odisha. In Q1 of FY19, Vedanta got eight per cent of its bauxite requirement from the OMC mine which progressively went up to 17 per cent in Q2 and 40 per cent in the December quarter. On the whole, OMC is expected to cater to a third of Vedanta’s bauxite requirement in FY19 for its Lanjigarh alumina refinery built at Niyamgiri.

Lanjigarh refinery presently has capacity of two million tonnes per annum (mtpa). Last fiscal, it produced 1.2 million tonnes of alumina. In a revised guidance, Vedanta has pegged its alumina production in FY19 at two million tonnes. The company has already commenced activity on scaling up the refinery’s capacity to six mtpa, pledging Rs 6400 crore. The first phase ramp-up will see the refinery attaining a capacity of four mtpa.

Greater availability of alumina from its captive refinery is expected to help Vedanta achieve volume growth in aluminium production. Last fiscal, Vedanta emerged the largest aluminium producer, upstaging Hindalco Industries owned by Aditya Birla Group.

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