By Ajoy K. Das

KOLKATA, India—Two copper deposits in India were put up for competitive bidding by the Maharashtra government in February via e-auction and Vedanta has emerged as the preferred bidder for both of these assets.

The state government put up the block offers for two composite licenses for the Thanewasna block covering 768 hectares and the Dubarpeth block covering 816 hectares.

In a related development, Sterlite Copper, a Vedanta subsidiary, expected to resume operations of its copper smelter at Tuticorin in southern state of Tamil Nadu over the next two months.

Sterlite’s Tuticorin smelter was closed down by the local government during May 2018 when six people were killed after police opened fire on a crowd of people protesting pollution caused by the plant.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) overturned the order of the local government to permanently close down the plant and directed the government to ensure resumption of the operation.