MUMBAI, July 29 (Reuters) – India’s Vedanta Ltd said on Wednesday it expected to restart iron ore mining by October in top exporting Goa province and that talks were continuing with regulators for merging with its cash-rich unit Cairn India.
The mining and energy group, which has been hit by a slump in crude prices and mining bans in key producing states, also posted a consolidated net profit of 8.66 billion rupees ($135.61 million) for its fiscal first quarter to June 30.
That compared with a profit of 3.76 billion rupees in the same period last year, which was hurt by a one-time charge of 21.28 billion rupees. Excluding the impact of one-off charge, the company’s first-quarter profit was 35.4 percent lower than a year earlier.
Chief Executive Tom Albanese said on a conference call Vedanta was hoping to get approvals as early as next month to restart a few mines in Goa and was positioned to restart mining at a rate of 5.5 million tonnes a year.
However, he said the current low international prices coupled with royalties and export taxes were challenging and the company would look to sell as much ore as it could to domestic mills.
Albanese separately said in a statement Vedanta was focusing on improving efficiency and costs.
Consolidated net sales fell marginally to 169.52 billion rupees in the June quarter from 170.56 billion rupees a year earlier at Vedanta, which has interests in oil and gas, iron ore, zinc, copper, power and aluminium.
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