Bangalore: Mining and oil and gas conglomerate Vedanta Resources Plc reported a fall in core earnings and revenue for the first half of the year dragged by weak metal and oil prices.

The London-listed miner said lower average prices across all commodities hit operating profit by $225 million.

However, the company’s operational results were positive with record oil and gas production at Cairn India Ltd and increased output of refined zinc, lead and silver at Zinc India.

Vedanta said it expected to restart mining in Karnataka soon. The company has been hurt by the ban on iron ore mining in Karnataka and Goa over the last few quarters. Vedanta received clearance from India’s Supreme Court in September to resume mining in Karnataka.

Earlier this week, the apex court maintained a 14-month ban on iron ore mining in Goa over environmental concerns but allowed the sale of more than 11 million tonnes of material that sat in stockpiles.

Vedanta also said it was committed to delivering an operational turnaround at its Zambian copper business, which has been struggling with high costs and low volumes.

The miner said it was in talks with various stakeholders including the Zambian government to drive productivity and cost improvements.

Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) has been involved in a bitter row with the Zambian government after it announced plans to lay off over 1,500 staff members by March 2014 as part of a move towards more mechanisation at its mines.

The move angered the Zambian government enough to revoke KCM chief executive Kishore Kumar’s work permit.

The Copper Zambia unit, which includes KCM, accounts for about 12% of overall revenue.

Core earnings, or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda), fell 14% to $2.21 billion in the half year ended 30 September. Revenue fell 17% to $6.16 billion.

Vedanta raised its interim dividend to 22 cents from 21 cents a year earlier.REUTERS