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Vedanta: The Real Goldminer

India’s self-sufficiency in the natural resources sector has the capacity to create millions of employment opportunities, which in turn can help ensure economic and social development.

Photo Credit : Umesh Goswami


Now here is a company that has seen achievements and controversies alike. You may vouch for it, you may not, but you cannot ignore it.

It effortlessly makes it to the list of most powerful corporates in the country for its consistent geological discoveries, solid business model, constant value creation and improved operations.

It was recently in news for winning India’s first-ever auction of a gold mine after the nation opened up the sector to private companies to curb overseas purchases of the metal. That’s Vedanta for you!

Undoubtedly, winning the Baghmara mine in Chhattisgarh in the auction was a significant move for Vedanta as it was for the first time that a composite license for gold mining was given in India. The company beat three other corporate houses in the auction bid.

Vedanta, a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc, has interests in oil and gas, zinc-lead-silver, iron ore, copper, aluminium and power. Promoted by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, Vedanta was in the limelight last fiscal for ramping up its world-class aluminium assets to record production levels. This, alonside a progressive ramp up of the new smelters at Korba and Jharsuguda, has well positioned the company for an accelerated growth in 2016. The total mined metal production for zinc and lead also hit a historic high, supported by strong performance of the Rampura Agucha mine, which is the largest and one of the lowest cost zinc mines in the world.

“My vision for the future is to continue to fulfil Vedanta’s potential while helping to advance the world’s largest democratic developing nations economically, socially and sustainably,” says Anil Agarwal, founder and chairman of Vedanta. “India and Africa are richly endowed with natural resources that will fuel their future growth and raise the living standards of their population. We are working with our employees, communities and government to help unlock India’s vast resource potential,” he adds.

Sure, India’s self-sufficiency in the natural resources sector has the capacity to create millions of employment opportunities, which in turn can help ensure economic and social development.

The fiscal that went by also saw significant progress in the development of underground mines at Rampura Agucha and Sindesar Khurd. What’s more, the oil and gas business delivered a robust performance in Rajasthan as strong contributions came from offshore assets. The business is expected to reap benefits from the high-impact enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project. In fact, looking ahead, increased gas production in the Raageshwari Deep Gas field and development at Barmer Hill, will also continue to provide the company with growth options. Besides, its copper smelter in India recorded the highest ever production and the best-in-class operational efficiencies during the year. Mining in Karnataka resumed in February 2015.

In August 2015, Vedanta announced the reopening of its Codli mine in Goa, marking the resumption of iron ore mining in the state after a gap of nearly three years. In fact, with that it has become the first company to restart iron ore mining in Goa.

Globally too, the company expanded its footprint. In November 2014, Vedanta approved the development of an open-pit zinc mine in Gamsberg, South Africa, as well as the conversion of the Skorpion Zinc Refinery in neighbouring Namibia. Gamsberg is one of the world’s largest undeveloped zinc deposits. The output from Gamsberg, coupled with the world-class refinery at the Skorpion mine in Namibia, will make the Southern African region one of the most important suppliers of refined zinc globally.

Founded in 1976 in Mumbai — then Bombay — as Sterlite Industries, it was renamed Vedanta much later to align the group’s identity globally. The company has grown at a rapid pace in the last decade and has implemented a series of cost-effective measures to maintain financial strength. It has invested over $30 billion in India in organic growth alone in the last decade.

During the 2013-14 fiscal, Vedanta, through its subsidiaries, undertook water conservation efforts which in turn led to close to 44 million cubic meters (MCM) of water recycling in India, Australia and Africa. And, the total water saving for the year amounted to 2.52 MCM.

[email protected]; @paramitachat

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