HCL to Expand Copper Production

India’s sole integrated copper producer, state-run, Hindustan Copper Ltd. (HCL) will increase its production six fold to 20 million metric tons per year (mt/y) investing an estimated $808 million over the next six years to expand its copper mines. According to a company official, HCL, which currently meets about 4% of domestic demand of copper, will increase domestic supplies to meet about 30% of domestic demand of the nonferrous metal on completion of its expansion projects.

The entire funding for the expansion would be raised through fresh issue of equity shares to Qualified Institutional Placements (QIPs), and following the placement of the instrument, the Indian government’s equity holding in HCL will be reduced to 66.13% from 76.05% at present.

The expansion plans of HCL comes close on the heels of the closure of Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper plant at Tuticorin in southern state of Tamil Nadu following incidents of pollution and local protests. Although details have not yet been officially unveiled, it was learned that the company will revive its mothballed Khetri Copper Plant in central desert state of Rajasthan.

The revival of the Khetri smelter and acid producing facility would enable HCL to add about 31,000 mt/y of refined copper to its annual production capacity. The Khetri copper plant was expected to reach a capacity utilization of 120% over a period of time and increase domestic copper production against the anticipated backdrop of domestic shortage, which was the highest priority of the company.

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 09 - www.womp-int.com