A subsidiary of Vedanta Resources has been ordered by an Indian court to shut its copper smelter in southern India due to environmental concerns.

The Madras High Court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu ordered Sterlite Industries, in which Vedanta holds a 51% stake, to close its Tuticorin smelter citing violation of environmental rules.

The court said Sterlite failed to develop a 25m-wide green belt around the smelter, which is within 25km of an ecologically fragile area.

The copper smelter produced 334,000t of copper cathode in the 12 months to March, which accounted for nearly half of all India’s copper output.

Meanwhile, Sterlite said it has approached the Supreme Court seeking a stay of the Madras High Court order.