Companies

Hind Zinc commissions silver refinery, invests Rs 100 cr

Suresh P. Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2012

Hindustan Zinc's silver refinery at Pant Nagar.





Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group company, has commissioned a 350 tonnes per annum silver refinery at Pant Nagar in Uttarakhand with an investment of Rs 100 crore. The refinery dispatched the first consignment of silver ingot of 99.99 per cent purity last month.

Mr Akhilesh Joshi, Chief Operating Officer, Hindustan Zinc, said the commissioning of the new silver refinery was part of the company's plan to achieve an annual silver production of 500 tonnes by March next year. The company was using its most modern zinc refinery at Chanderiya in Rajasthan for silver production.

Silver lines revenues

The company's silver production has grown multi-fold from 47 tonnes in 2002 to 180 tonnes last fiscal. Silver production in the first half of this fiscal was up 10 per cent at 96 tonnes.

Hindustan Zinc's revenue from silver more than doubled to Rs 467 crore (Rs 209 crore) in the first half of this fiscal while it logged an increase of 58 per cent to Rs 544 crore last fiscal. The company's mined metal production was at 840,000 tonnes in 2010-11 while it rose three per cent to 398,000 tonnes in first six months of this fiscal.

Its revenue from silver is expected to rise further with production at Sindesar Khurd zinc mines expected to achieve its full capacity of 1.5 million tonnes this fiscal, said an analyst.

PRICES SOFTEN

Silver prices, which are driven by demand from jewellery, coinage, industrial and medical applications, have softened substantially after hitting an all-time high of Rs 75,000 a kg in April last year. This was largely due to investment-driven buying in line with global markets, where the metal rose to a fresh 31-year high. Currently, it is quoted at about Rs 52,000 a kg.

Hindustan Zinc operates four mines in Rajasthan including the world's largest zinc mine at Rampura Agucha, Sindesar Khurd, Rajpura Dariba and Zawar. It has zinc and lead smelters and refineries at Chanderiya, Debari (Udaipur) and Dariba (Rajsamand) all in Rajasthan and one at Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

According to industry sources, the total domestic demand for silver in the first half of this fiscal was at 1,700 tonnes with imports accounting for 800 tonnes, recycled sourcing contributing 795 tonnes and primary domestic producers chipping in 105 tonnes.

suresh@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 09, 2012

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