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Report: Vedanta mulls possible layoffs of iron ore workers after Goa mining halt

Vedanta Resources PLC is considering options, including layoffs, for some of the 2,000 workers of its iron ore business in southwest India that was ordered closed by a court, Reuters reported June 14, citing sources.

In February, the Supreme Court canceled all iron ore extraction permits in Goa state and ordered mining to cease from March 16 on environmental and other concerns.

According to sources cited by the newswire, mining in Goa is unlikely to resume within, at least, the next three years, as the state will have to conduct a new survey of its iron ore reserves before auctioning mines and seeking environmental clearances to operate them.

The miner, in late March, said it expects to book a noncash impairment of between US$500 million and US$600 million stemming from the closure of the group's iron ore unit in India's Goa state. Vedanta, however, noted that the closure of its iron ore business in the state would not have any material impact on the company's profitability.

A source told Reuters that Vedanta typically does not fire workers, but keeping on all employees without generating sales would be difficult. Since the shutdown, some personnel of the miner's iron ore business have been moved to other units across the country, with employees continuing to receive pay, a Vedanta spokesperson said.