The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests granted temporary working permit to National Aluminium Company for operating the central and north block of Panchpatmaili mines in Koraput districts where bauxite mining was suspended on November 17 after the 30-year-old lease expired.
Nalco had to stop its 2.1 million tonne per annum bauxite refinery at Damanjodi after the mining lease in Damanjodi block of Koraput district spread over 4692.05 hectares of area expired. The Panchpatmali hills have over 310 million tonne of bauxite.
Nalco sources said the Forest Advisory Committee which met in New Delhi today, accorded TWP to Nalco for 544.7 hectare of forest land including 158 hectare under active mining for next one year.
Officials said Nalco can start operating the mines immediately, but it has to obtain an environmental clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests and a forest clearance from Orissa government as soon as possible.