Hindustan Copper lines up Rs 688 crore capex on mine expansion in FY14

KOLKATA: Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) has lined up a capex of Rs 688.37 crore in 2013-14 up from a planned expenditure of Rs. 260.28crore in 2012-13. This is part of a planned capexof Rs 3,435croreon eight mining projects by the state-owned copper major which has lined up a four-fold expansion in mine capacity to 12.4 million tonne in next five years. The company will spend the amount on mine expansion, replacement & renewal, mine development and green field exploration with work on four of the eight projects having already commenced. Incidentally, HCL received environment clearance for the company's flagship undergound project atMalanjkhand in Madhya Pradeshfrom union ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) in June 2013. 

HCL has also floated an expression of interest (EoI) to extract minerals and materials from the copper ore tails, marking a step forward to achieve 'Zero Waste Mining'. This is expected to contribute significantly to HCL's profitability. The company is due to take up greenfield mine exploration with the 
Madhya Pradesh government granting reconnasissance permit (RP) of 580.73 sq. km in the Balaghat district. It has also made headway in its efforts at getting RP for exploration of copper in Rajasthan where an area covering 1860.69 sq. km has been recommended for RP to HCL in the Ajmer, Bhilwada, Pali Nagur and Jaipur. 

Speaking at the company's 46 thAGM on Friday last, HCL chairman and managing director K D Diwan said domestic copper consumption is likely to remain positive in line with GDP growth due to government spend on power and infrastructure and housing sectors in the 12 thPlan. 

HCL's own production of ore was 13% higher in April-August 2013 compared to corresponding period of last year. During the same period Metal-in-Concentrate (MIC) production was 24% higher compared to the previous corresponding period, while t otal copper sales were up 10% compared to the previous corresponding period. For FY 2013-14, HCL has set a production target of producing 39 lakh tonne (lt) of copper ore and 35,200 tonnes ofMIC and 33792 tonnes of cathodes.During 2012-13, the company produced 36.57 lt of ore against 34.79 lt in FY13. HCL also posted a profit after tax of Rs 355.64crore in FY13 the best-ever since inception.