May 8, 2013 / 6:50 AM / 6 years ago

CORRECTED-India's top copper smelter stays shut until at least May 14

(Corrects spelling of judge’s name in third paragraph)

NEW DELHI, May 8 (Reuters) - India’s top copper smelter will stay shut until at least May 14 when an environmental court meets again to review the case, a judge said on Wednesday, prolonging a six-week shutdown that has pushed up copper concentrate processing fees in Asia.

The Sterlite Industries plant, which meets half of India’s copper demand, was closed on March 30 after residents complained of emissions that led to breathing problems.

Justice Swatanter Kumar of the National Green Tribunal, a special fast-track environmental court, said an expert panel’s report had to be given to all parties and set the next hearing for May 14.

The smelter’s closure has pushed about 3,000 tonnes per day of copper concentrates onto the market. The plant produces 30,000 tonnes of refined copper a month and nearly half of the output goes to China. (Reporting by Krishna Das; Editing by Amran Abocar)

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