India should maximise its potential in this area natural resources industry: Vedanta Chairman

50% of India’s imports, worth more than $350 billion, consist of minerals and metals, including oil and gas
Indian multinational company Vedanta
Indian multinational company Vedanta (File photo | AP)

NEW DELHI: Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal urged India to tap its vast potential in natural resources, as the natural resources industry fueled growth in many developed economies.

While addressing shareholders during the 59th Annual General Meeting, Agarwal highlighted that India has explored only 30% of its geological potential so far. He noted that currently, 50% of India’s imports, worth more than $350 billion, consist of minerals and metals, including oil and gas. This figure is expected to double or triple as the economy grows at a rapid pace, presenting a $1 trillion opportunity in this sector.

“The natural resources industry has provided the very foundation for the growth and development of several developed global economies – the United States, Australia, Middle East, Canada, and Europe. It is now clearly India’s time to shine and maximize its potential in this area,” said Agarwal.

He also pointed out that while public discourse often focuses on lithium, cobalt, and nickel, resources such as copper, aluminium, zinc, and silver are equally fundamental to the sunrise sectors of the new economy, and India has abundant reserves of these materials.

Agarwal noted that India is the fastest-growing economy in the world, with double-digit growth in demand for various products. As the world looks to India as an alternative to China, the growth potential is immense.

Agarwal also discussed Vedanta’s demerger plans, which will lead to the creation of six strong companies, each standing as a Vedanta in its own right. This strategic move is expected to unlock significant value, with each demerged entity following Vedanta’s core values, enterprising spirit, and global leadership.

Indian multinational company Vedanta
Vedanta announces demerger plan to create six new companies

Regarding financial performance, Agarwal reported that Vedanta achieved its second-highest annual consolidated revenue of Rs 1,41,793 crore and a robust second-highest annual EBITDA of Rs 36,455 crore. The company paid a total dividend of Rs 18,572 crore in FY24 and has declared a dividend of Rs 11 per share for the current year. Over the past nine years, Vedanta’s contribution to the National Exchequer now stands at $53 billion. Vedanta has invested over $35 billion in India and contributes around 1.4% of the country’s GDP.

“We are in the process of aggressively deleveraging our balance sheet. Our debt-to-profitability ratios are on par with or better than our industry peers. Our foundations are strong,” Agarwal said.

This year, Vedanta is actively engaged in rapid expansion efforts, including the new 1.5 MTPA expansion at its alumina refinery in Lanjigarh, operationalising the Bicholim mine in Goa, and commencing production at the Jaya oilfield in Gujarat. The company also acquired the Athena and Meenakshi power plants in FY24, doubling its merchant power capacity to 5 GW.

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