Vedanta Q2 metal production hit due to snags, power outages

Despite the hurdles, Vedanta posts a record aluminium production of 2.96 lakh tonnes during the September quarter

Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: Mining conglomerate Vedanta Ltd on Monday said its production of zinc, copper and aluminium was affected during the July-September quarter due to reasons such as power outages, technical snags among others.

Despite the hurdles, the firm led by billionaire Anil Agarwal posted a record aluminium production of 2.96 lakh tonnes during the September quarter and saw its power sales rise year-on-year (y-o-y) helped by commissioning of additional units at TSPL and BALCO over the last year.

The company said copper production from Tuticorin smelter was 97,000 tonnes, marginally lower q-o-q. “During the quarter, production was affected by an unplanned outage for ten days due to a boiler leakage at the smelter,” it added.

In the aluminium segment, Vedanta said commissioning of pots at first line of the 1.25 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) Jharsuguda-II aluminium smelter was completed at the end of July 2016. “However, it was impacted by a power outage in early August, following which 168 pots were taken out of production. The impacted pots are currently being rectified, and 10 pots have re-started in early October 2016,” it added.

Similarly its Balco facility too faced issues during the quarter. “BALCO-II smelter was commissioned, with all 336 pots operational in August. However, there was a technical issue in early September, due to which 167 pots were taken out of production. Rectification work is in progress and these pots are expected to be re-started by Q4 2016-17,” Vedanta said.

In zinc, the firm’s mines metal production increased primarily due to significantly higher production at Rampura Agucha open cast mine compared to Q1, when there was high waste excavation, in accordance with the waste-ore sequence. However, it said: “Refined zinc and lead volumes during the quarter were lower y-o-y and higher q-o-q, in line with the mined metal production.”

Commenting on the firm’s performance, Vedanta chief executive officer Tom Albanese said the firm delivered a strong operational performance during the June quarter. “We have progressed on our ramp-up of aluminium and though we had some operational challenges, our full year volumes are not expected to be materially impacted,” he added.

Vedanta achieved higher mined metal production at Zinc India and this upward trend is expected to continue in the second half, Albanese noted. “We are extremely pleased that shareholders have approved the proposed Vedanta Ltd–Cairn India merger last month, and we expect the transaction to complete in the first quarter of calendar year 2017. This is an important strategic step in simplifying the Group,” he said.

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