Companies

Hind Copper plans to buy lithium reserves overseas through JV arm

Our Bureau | | Updated on: May 30, 2019

Santosh Sharma, CMD, Hind Copper

To invest ₹600 crore to expand capacity

State-owned Hindustan Copper Ltd is eyeing acquisition of lithium reserves overseas. The acquisition will be made through its joint venture arm, Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL).

KABIL is a joint venture between three central public sector undertakings-- National Aluminium Company (Nalco) with 34 per cent stake and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL) and Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) having a 33 per cent stake each. It has an equity share capital of ₹100 crore.

According to Santosh Sharma, CMD, HCL, the JV has already scouted some destinations overseas including Chile, Peru and Bolivia. The reserves are likely to be acquired within the next six months.

Strategic minerals

“The JV will be signed over the next one month and we will look at acquisition of reserves over the next six months through KABIL. The JV has already been to places like Chile, Peru and Bolivia,” he said during a press meet.

Apart from lithium resources, KABIL will identify, explore, acquire, develop and process different strategic minerals overseas for commercial use. The strategic minerals include tin, tungsten, titanium, gallium, tantalum, cobalt, niobium, selenium and indium.

Capacity expansion

According to Sharma, HCL will look to invest ₹600 crore this fiscal towards capacity expansion of existing mines, re-opening of closed mines and acquiring new mining leases.

While plans are afoot to re-open the Dhobani Pathargora Mine in Jharkhand. The other mines that are scheduled for re-opening this fiscal include Rakha and Kendadih.

“We are readying with the tenders for Rakha,” the CMD said.

Meanwhile, talks are on to start development of mines at Chapri-Sideshwar block soon. A greenfield project, the mine is expected to be “viable for at least 25 years” with 80-100 million tonnes of reserve.

“If required, the year’s capex can be increased to ₹1,200 crore. Entire expansion can be funded from our internal accruals,” Sharma said.

HCL is targeting a revenue of ₹2,000 crore this fiscal and has set a production target of 51.5 lakh tonnes.

According to Sharma, the expansion of the Malanjkhand project in Madhya Pradesh, the single largest copper deposit in India, will be operational this fiscal.

Published on May 30, 2019
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