Panchpatmali mine restarts operations after Maoist attack

April 22nd, 2009 - 3:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, April 22 (IANS) State-owned National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) Wednesday restarted operations at Orissa’s Panchpatmali mine, which suspended production after the April 12 Maoist attack, a company official said.
“We have restarted mining operations amid tight security and have resumed normal production,” NALCO’s director (production) P.K. Rautray told IANS.

District Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar said security personnel had thoroughly scanned the mine area and declared them safe.

At least 10 security personnel and four Maoist rebels were killed in a gun battle at the company’s bauxite mine at Panchpatmali, some 370 km from here April 12.

Over 100 armed rebels had laid siege to the mine, took around 60 mine workers as hostage and attacked a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) camp. They had also looted explosives from a depot the CISF personnel were guarding.

NALCO is Asia’s largest integrated aluminium producer. The bauxite from Panchpatmali mine feeds the refinery at Damanjodi town located nearby.

The mine produces about 50,000 tonnes of raw materials daily. As a result of the suspension of the operation, the company suffered a loss of about 150,000 tonnes over the past 10 days.

However, it had no impact on the refinery because it had adequate stocks. NALCO will make up the losses in the next few weeks, officials said.

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