By Neha Arora
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Hindalco Industries Ltd <HALC.NS> on Thursday signed an agreement with UltraTech Cement Ltd <ULTC.NS> to supply 1.2 million tonnes of bauxite residue every year to be used as a raw material for cement, as part of its push for alternative methods of disposing of the toxic waste.
Hindalco, India's top aluminium and copper producer, said it would supply 2.5 million tonnes of bauxite residue, also known as red mud, to 40 cement companies this year, to help cement makers to replace their existing raw materials such as laterite, a mineral.
Of the 2.5 million tonnes, 1.2 million tonnes would go to UltraTech's 14 cement plants spread across seven states.
"We are trying to match the price of laterite," Satish Pai, managing director of Hindalco Industries Ltd, told Reuters. When aluminium producers process bauxite they get red mud, considered particularly dangerous for marine life, as a by-product.
Since two dam disasters in Brazil and Papua New Guinea's Basamuk Bay, where red mud from a nickel plant spilled into the sea last year, disposal of red mud has come under greater scrutiny.
Hindalco, which generates 4.5 million tonnes of red mud every year, also plans to use the by-product for road construction and in brick kilns and embankments, Pai said.
(Reporting by Neha Arora; Editing by Mayank Bhardwaj and Alex Richardson)