Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd., the nation’s biggest copper producer, fell the most in more than a year in Mumbai trading after shutting its smelter on the orders of the Tamil Nadu state’s pollution control board.
The shares plunged as much as 5.6 percent to 88.50 rupees, the most since Feb. 22, 2012, and traded at 88.85 rupees as of 2:20 p.m. local time. The key S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.1 percent.
Billionaire Anil Agarwal-controlled Sterlite’s smelter in Tuticorin has faced controversy since at least Sept. 28, 2010, when the Madras High Court ruled the 400,000 metric-ton facility should be shut for breaching environmental standards. The company challenged the decision in the top court the next month. The pollution control board ordered the closing of the smelter following allegations of gas leak, Indian Express reported yesterday. Sterlite said the factory maintains international safety standards, according to the newspaper.
India is tightening rules to protect ecologically sensitive regions, stop illegal mining and safeguard the resources and livelihood of the people living around mines and factories.