Hindustan Copper to quadruple mine capacity; plans $800m expansion

Indian state copper miner Hindustan Copper Ltd. (HCL) is in the initial stages of an $800 million expansion program. Construction is underway at a major new underground mine in the state of Madhya Pradesh, according to Resources Monitor, and expansions are planned at its operations in the states of Jharkhand and Rajasthan.

HCL is implementing mine expansion projects to increase production capacity by four times. It is also investing Rs 3,025 crore to set up a plant in Chhattisgarh with a 0.1-million-tonne per annum (mtpa) capacity.

Currently, Hindustan produces around 40,000 tonnes of copper per year, but the company plans to increase production to around 200,000 tonnes by 2025.

Hindustan Copper’s production of 40,000 tonnes is only a small proportion of the 650,000 tonnes that India used last year domestically in the electrical, construction and transport industries, the report reads.

In HCL’s annual general meeting, Chairman and Managing Director K D Diwan, said, “The company’s flagship project, Malanjkhand (Madhya Pradesh) underground mine of five million tonnes per annum (mtpa) annual capacity, is progressing well. It is expected that ore production from the underground mine will commence from December 2018.”

It has also appointed a mine development officer for the Banwas mine at Khetri (in Rajasthan) and has received environment and forest clearances for its Kendadih and Rakha mine reopening projects, located at Ghatsila in Jharkhand.

“HCL’s focus in the next financial year would be to expedite the expansion programme and ramp up the production from Gujarat Copper Project located at Bharuch in the shortest possible time”, he said. In the past financial year, HCL’s copper ore production fell marginally to 3.8 million tonnes (mt) as against the production of 3.9 mt during 2015-16. However, sales volume increased by 20 per cent at 28,888 tonnes as against 24,112 tonnes in FY16.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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