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Hindustan Copper eyes 20 MT output by 2024, plans to open closed mines

Press Trust of India/Malanjkhand 14 Jan 19 | 05:20 PM

State-owned Hindustan Copper (HCL) has chalked out a strategy, which includes reopening of closed mines, to augment production capacity to up to 20 million tonne per annum by 2024.

The company's current capacity of copper ore is 3.8 million tonne per annum (MTPA).

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"My target is to go to 20 MT by 2024...This ramp-up will be done by particular strategy which includes expansion of existing mines like Malanjkhand...Number two strategy will be to reopen the closed mines...construction of new mines," HCL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Santosh Sharma told reporters here.

"All these three activities will enable (the company) to reach 20 MT," he said.

The company, which plans to pump in Rs 5,500 crore over the next six years to scale up its output by six times, is looking to reopen its Rakha copper mine soon.

It is planning to raise the capacity of the company to 4.1 MTPA by the end of the current financial year.

"This year only, I am planning to bring it to 4.1 MT. I am sure to achieve it. Next year (2019-20), it is 5.1 MT. Then 2020-21 it is 6.1 MT," he said.

Hindustan Copper, which is currently catering to around five per cent of the domestic copper demand, expects to take it to 30 per cent.

"HCL will be able to cater to 30 per cent domestic requirement of refined copper after this expansion (after 2023-24)," Sharma said.

The company is also hopeful that its Malanjkhand underground mine would come into operation in September.

The mine is almost ready for production, he said.

More than 60 per cent of the company's revenue comes from Malanjkhand open-cast copper mine, whose production capacity is 2.5 MTPA currently.

"We are going to increase our production capacity of Malanjkhand to 5 million tonne and thereafter 8 million tonne," Sharma added.

Meanwhile, Sharma said the waste rocks extracted by Hindustan Copper are fit for the Railways and the company is in talks with national transporter to sell them.

"Railways has already given acceptance certificate. My secondary resources are of fit quality for Railways. That communication we have received. To supply it to Railways, we need some permissions from state authorities. Trial run is already in progress," the CMD said.

The company is also likely to commission its waste-to-wealth project soon at its Malanjkhand project, which will enable it to extract precious metals such as gold and silver, as well as minerals such as silica through a copper ore tails project.

"We are company which has non-LME (London Metal Exchange) verticals like copper ore tailing beneficiation....These non-LME verticals will be waste rocks, copper ore tailing...these will support us in case of lower LME. Even if LME goes down, we are able to maintain our profitability and sustainability. This will provide me hedge," he said.

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