Vedanta to Resume Iron Ore Mining by June After Ban Lifted

Vedanta Resources Plc, controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, is planning to resume iron ore mining in India’s Karnataka region by June after the country’s top court lifted a 21-month ban imposed for environmental violations.

India’s Supreme Court last month allowed Vedanta’s iron ore unit Sesa Goa Ltd. and eight other companies to restart operations in Karnataka. The Supreme Court suspended extraction in the western state of Goa pending a probe into violations of mining regulations. The ban followed a similar action in neighboring Karnataka in August 2011. Karnataka in July 2010 barred iron-ore exports to increase local supplies of the steelmaking ingredient.

Vedanta has “no clarity” about when the ban on exporting iron ore will be removed, Chief Executive Officer Mahendra Singh Mehta said in a conference call. “That’s not our priority right now. As we start production and ramp up the volume we’ll engage on that also.”

Vedanta’s full-year net income more than doubled to $157.4 million in the fiscal year ended March 31 from $59.8 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement today.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 21 percent to $4.89 billion, while sales grew 7 percent to $14.9 billion. The company proposed a final dividend of 37 cents a share, increasing the total dividend to 58 cents.

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