UPDATE 2-India's Largest Copper Plant Shut for at Least a Week after Leak-Shanghai Metals Market

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UPDATE 2-India's Largest Copper Plant Shut for at Least a Week after Leak

Industry News 09:34:47AM Apr 03, 2013 Source:SMM

    NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, April 2 (Reuters) - Sterlite Industries
Ltd's copper plant in India, the country's largest,
will stay closed at least until a hearing next week about a gas
leak reported at the site, tightening supplies of the red metal
in Asia's third largest economy.
    An extended shutdown of the smelter, which produces more
than 300,000 tonnes per year and supplies half of India's
domestic copper needs, could spur imports and drive up prices,
traders and analysts have said.
    The smelter will not open before a hearing at the Chennai
bench of National Green Tribunal, set up for the quick disposal
of environmental cases in India, said three officials with the
pollution control board of the southern state of Tamil Nadu,
where the plant is located.
    "A hearing has been posted for April 9 at the Chennai branch
of the National Green Tribunal," said one of the officials, who
declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.
    He said the plant could not open before the hearing.
    The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) last week
ordered Sterlite to temporarily close the Tuticorin plant
following complaints by locals of breathing problems.
.
    The company declined to comment on the hearing date.
    The smelter, located in the coastal town of Tuticorin near
the southern tip of India, has long been the target of
protesters and local politicians who say it is a risk to the
local fishing industry.
   
    COURT FINE
    In a separate case, India's top court on Tuesday fined
Sterlite, a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources PLC,
1 billion rupees ($18.40 million) for breaking environmental
laws at the same copper smelter.
    Despite imposing the fine, the Supreme Court overruled an
earlier order from the Madras High Court demanding the firm
close the plant over longstanding environmental concerns. That
disputed order was handed down before the gas leak forced the
smelter's immediate closure.
    Shares in Sterlite jumped after the verdict and closed more
than 4 percent higher.
    The court said the judgment will not stand in the way of the
TNPCB issuing directions to the company, including one for
closure of the  plant, for the protection of environment in
accordance with law.
    The first of many petitions against the plant was filed in
1996. The company says it is in compliance with environmental
regulations.
    The top court said ground water samples showed high mineral
contents in terms of dissolved solids as compared to the
drinking water standards, indicating pollution.
    "We have to see that no person or society would be adversely
affected by environmental hazards," said judge A.K. Patnaik, who
delivered the court's judgment.
    The court said that levels of chromium, copper and lead were
 higher than stipulated in some of the groundwater samples
collected from the area, while emission of suplhur dioxide was
well within limits stipulated by TNPCB.
    "Sterlite Industries would continue to work in close
association with the State Government of Tamil Nadu and other
regulatory bodies, towards maintaining highest standards of
Health, Safety and Environment," it said in a statement.
    India consumes around 600,000 tonnes of copper annually,
about 3 percent of the world's total, far behind China which
used around 9 million tonnes last year.

Key Words:  copper plant  

Price

more
1# Zinc
Oct.24
18870.0
50.0
(0.27%)
0# Zinc
Oct.24
18940.0
50.0
(0.26%)
T/C for domestic zinc concentrate
Oct.01
6325.0
0.0
(0.00%)
T/C for imported zinc concentrate
Oct.01
280.0
0.0
(0.00%)
Zinc Alloy (Zamak3/ZX01)
Oct.24
19840.0
50.0
(0.25%)

UPDATE 2-India's Largest Copper Plant Shut for at Least a Week after Leak

Industry News 09:34:47AM Apr 03, 2013 Source:SMM

    NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, April 2 (Reuters) - Sterlite Industries
Ltd's copper plant in India, the country's largest,
will stay closed at least until a hearing next week about a gas
leak reported at the site, tightening supplies of the red metal
in Asia's third largest economy.
    An extended shutdown of the smelter, which produces more
than 300,000 tonnes per year and supplies half of India's
domestic copper needs, could spur imports and drive up prices,
traders and analysts have said.
    The smelter will not open before a hearing at the Chennai
bench of National Green Tribunal, set up for the quick disposal
of environmental cases in India, said three officials with the
pollution control board of the southern state of Tamil Nadu,
where the plant is located.
    "A hearing has been posted for April 9 at the Chennai branch
of the National Green Tribunal," said one of the officials, who
declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.
    He said the plant could not open before the hearing.
    The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) last week
ordered Sterlite to temporarily close the Tuticorin plant
following complaints by locals of breathing problems.
.
    The company declined to comment on the hearing date.
    The smelter, located in the coastal town of Tuticorin near
the southern tip of India, has long been the target of
protesters and local politicians who say it is a risk to the
local fishing industry.
   
    COURT FINE
    In a separate case, India's top court on Tuesday fined
Sterlite, a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources PLC,
1 billion rupees ($18.40 million) for breaking environmental
laws at the same copper smelter.
    Despite imposing the fine, the Supreme Court overruled an
earlier order from the Madras High Court demanding the firm
close the plant over longstanding environmental concerns. That
disputed order was handed down before the gas leak forced the
smelter's immediate closure.
    Shares in Sterlite jumped after the verdict and closed more
than 4 percent higher.
    The court said the judgment will not stand in the way of the
TNPCB issuing directions to the company, including one for
closure of the  plant, for the protection of environment in
accordance with law.
    The first of many petitions against the plant was filed in
1996. The company says it is in compliance with environmental
regulations.
    The top court said ground water samples showed high mineral
contents in terms of dissolved solids as compared to the
drinking water standards, indicating pollution.
    "We have to see that no person or society would be adversely
affected by environmental hazards," said judge A.K. Patnaik, who
delivered the court's judgment.
    The court said that levels of chromium, copper and lead were
 higher than stipulated in some of the groundwater samples
collected from the area, while emission of suplhur dioxide was
well within limits stipulated by TNPCB.
    "Sterlite Industries would continue to work in close
association with the State Government of Tamil Nadu and other
regulatory bodies, towards maintaining highest standards of
Health, Safety and Environment," it said in a statement.
    India consumes around 600,000 tonnes of copper annually,
about 3 percent of the world's total, far behind China which
used around 9 million tonnes last year.

Key Words:  copper plant