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Vedanta Resources (VED)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Wednesday 11 April, 2007

Vedanta Resources

Q4 Production Results

Vedanta Resources PLC
11 April 2007


                                                                   11 April 2007

                             Vedanta Resources Plc
            Production Results for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year
                              Ended 31 March 2007

Highlights


•  Significant increase in full year ('FY 2007') production across all metals 
   in India

•  Substantial contribution to aluminium, copper and zinc volumes
   from completed phase 1 projects, with plants now operating at near-rated
   capacities in the fourth quarter ('Q4')

•  Commissioning process commenced at Lanjigarh alumina refinery
   with bauxite charging

•  38.4 MW wind power plant commissioned out of 125 MW ordered


Performance Summary

Finished metal production across all metals was higher than the preceding
quarter and the corresponding quarter in the previous period, mainly because of
increased contribution from stabilisation of phase 1 projects and successful
de-bottlenecking activities.


Aluminium

Production of 351,000 tonnes of aluminium in FY 2007 was significantly higher
than that of the previous year at 210,000 tonnes as a result of increase in
production due to the full ramp-up of the new Korba smelter, which produced
208,000 tonnes during the year. The stabilisation process of the new Korba
smelter was quicker than estimated and as a result the plant has consistently
achieved rated capacity in the last two quarter with the fourth quarter output
at 62,000 tonnes, taking the total aluminium production in Q4 to 98,000 tonnes.


Production from existing smelters at BALCO and MALCO was 143,000 tonnes in
FY 2007, marginally higher than their rated capacity, as a result of continuous
improvement efforts.


Copper

Copper cathode production at our Indian operations in FY 2007 and Q4 was 313,000
tonnes and 89,000 tonnes as compared to 273,000 tonnes and 75,000 tonnes
respectively, representing an increase of 15% and 19% over the corresponding
prior periods due to de-bottlenecking of our facility at Tuticorin. Production
after successful debottlenecking is steadily ramping up and contributing towards
additional volumes in Q4, with production close to rated capacity in March 2007.
The Tuticorin smelter was under planned shutdown for eight days in the first
week of April 2007 for carrying out modifications and improvements, at the
sulphuric acid plant.

Mined metal production at our Australian mines of 6,000 tonnes in Q4 is lower
than that of the corresponding period in the previous year due to a temporary
two-week disruption in the mining activities as a result of minor rockfall
incident. Post investigation of the incident by an independent expert, the site
was declared safe and mining activities were restored in the month of March
2007, which are expected to pick up to normal levels in the current quarter.

Our Zambian operations produced 37,000 tonnes of copper cathode as compared with
35,000 tonnes in the immediately preceding quarter. Our efforts to stabilise
tail leach plant have shown positive trends with a production of 4,000 tonnes in
March 2007. Smelter output has also shown an improvement with the anode
production at 12,000 tonnes in the month of March 2007. Consistent output from
the smelter requires plant reliability, which is sought through a series of
measures including a partial plant shutdown in April 2007 for 20 days for major
overhauling.


Zinc

Refined zinc production during FY 2007 was 348,000 tonnes, compared with 284,000
tonnes in FY 2006, up by 23% due to the ramp-up of new hydro smelter at
Chanderiya. The total zinc production in Q4 was 95,000 tones. Surplus zinc
concentrate of 70,000 dry metric tonnes was sold in Q4.

Mined zinc metal production was 505,000 tonnes for FY 2007 representing an
increase of 7% over the corresponding previous year. The increase in production
was primarily due to improved production from Rampura Agucha mines.


Gold

The lower output during the quarter at Sterlite Gold Limited is due to the
suspension of mining operations pending resolution of some of the key clauses in
the implementation agreement entered into with the Government of the Republic of
Armenia.


Pricing Environment

While sales volumes across all three metals - aluminium, copper and zinc - were
higher, prices of copper and zinc have witnessed a downward trend in Q4 compared
with the third quarter of FY 2007. Additionally, import tariffs on metals in
India were reduced from 7.5% to 5.0% in the last week of January 2007.


Projects Update


Aluminium

Progressive commissioning of the alumina refinery at Lanjigarh has commenced
with the charging of sourced bauxite, in the last week of March 2007 in the
first of the two streams. One unit of the captive power plant was commissioned
in February 2007 and is under stabilisation. After completion of the processing
cycle, output of alumina will commence by the end of the first quarter of
FY 2008.

Detailed engineering of the 500,000 tpa of the green-field aluminium smelter at
Jharsuguda is largely complete and orders for critical equipment for the smelter
and captive power placed with vendors. Construction work both at the smelter and
associated captive power plant of Phase I of the project are in full swing and
are on track to commissioning by mid-2009.


Copper

The work on the Konkola Deeps expansion project is progressing well with orders
for all major long-lead items placed. Work on the head gear foundation and
collar for the main shaft has been completed. Shaft sinking is progressing as
per schedule and the main shaft has been sunk to a level of 34 metres. Work on
the concentrator is also progressing well according to the planned schedule. The
basic engineering and ordering activities for the 250,000 tpa Nchanga smelter
expansion project are largely complete with construction activities in full
swing to meet the scheduled completion date in 2008.


Zinc

The construction activities of the new 170,000 tpa Chanderiya hydro smelter and
associated captive power plant are progressing on schedule, to be commissioned
by early 2008. Work on the debottlenecking project at HZL to increase the
capacity by 88,000 tonnes and new captive power plant of 80 MW at Zawar is
progressing well and will be completed as per schedule in early 2008.

As regards the green energy project undertaken by HZL, a turnkey contract for
125 MW wind power plant had been placed, of which the first phase of 38.4 MW was
commissioned in March 2007 in the State of Gujarat in India. The remaining
capacity is expected to be commissioned progressively during FY 2008.


Power

Basic engineering work on the new $1.9 billion greenfield 2,400 MW integrated
power project at Jharsuguda has recently commenced. The project is progressing
as per schedule.


Production Summary (Unaudited)

                                              (in '000 tonnes, except as stated)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Q4(1)        Change   Q3(1)      Year ended     Change
                                                          31 March
                   2006-07  2005-06           2006-07  2006-07 2005-06
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alumina                 80       77     3.9%       69      299     296     1.0%
Aluminium               98       68    44.1%       98      351     210    67.1%
Copper India/
Australia
Mined metal              6        8   -25.0%        7       28      34   -17.6%
content
Copper - Cathode        89       75    18.7%       86      313     273    14.7%
Copper - Rods           51       46    10.9%       41      178     167     6.6%
Copper Zambia
Mined metal             19       17    11.8%       21       84      99   -15.2%
content
Copper - Cathode        37       37        -       35      142     164   -13.4%
Zinc - Mined           121      125    -3.2%      128      505     472     7.0%
Metal Content
Refined Zinc            95       92     3.3%       93      348     284    22.5%
Equivalent Gold      1,923        -        -   12,911   17,662       -        -
(oz)(2)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Q4 - fourth quarter ended 31 March 2007 and 2006, respectively,
   Q3 - Third quarter ended 31 December 2006, respectively

2. Quantities of equivalent gold represent production for the year ended 31 
   March 2007 represents post acquisition period of seven months to
   31 March 2007, and are not directly comparable with the corresponding prior
   periods

For further information, please contact:
Sumanth Cidambi                           sumanth.cidambi@vedanta.co.in
Associate Director - Investor Relations   Tel: +44 20 7659 4732 / +91 22 6646 1531
Vedanta Resources plc

Faeth Birch                               Tel: +44 20 7251 3801
Alex Pettifer
Finsbury


About Vedanta Resources plc

Vedanta Resources plc is a London listed diversified metals and mining group.
Its principal operations are located throughout India, with further operations
in Zambia, Australia and Armenia. The major metals produced are aluminium,
copper, zinc, lead and gold. For further information, please visit
www.vedantaresources.com.


Disclaimer

This press release contains 'forward-looking statements' - that is, statements
related to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements
often address our expected future business and financial performance, and often
contain words such as 'expects,' 'anticipates,' 'intends,' 'plans,' 'believes,'
'seeks,' 'should' or 'will.' Forward-looking statements by their nature address
matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For us, uncertainties arise
from the behaviour of financial and metals markets including the London Metal
Exchange, fluctuations in interest and or exchange rates and metal prices; from
future integration of acquired businesses; and from numerous other matters of
national, regional and global scale, including those of a political, economic,
business, competitive or regulatory nature. These uncertainties may cause our
actual future results to be materially different that those expressed in our
forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking
statements.




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