Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) is looking to ramp up copper ore mine from the Malanjkhand mine in Madhya Pradesh to 2.2 million tonne (mt) next financial year, up from the current 1.5 mt. The higher production is expected to go up to 5 mt in the next six-to-seven years, a senior company official said.  

The state-owned copper miner is looking to scale up overall production close to 12.2 mt per annum from the current 3.5 mt over the next seven years.

The company has earmarked ₹350 crore for capex during the current fiscal, of which, close to ₹250 crore would be for raising the output at Malanjkhand. The company also awaits lease renewal from the Jharkhand government to reopen the Rakha mines closed in 2001-02 due to operational reasons.

“Our capex for the current fiscal is ₹350 crore and we are expecting to exceed. There is a shortfall in production from Malanjkhand due to difficult terrain, but this year it will come up in shape. We are looking at 2.2 million tonne ore production from 1.5-1.6 million tonne of output now,” a senior company official told newspersons on the sidelines of the recently held global mining summit organised by the CII and Ministry of Mines and Coal.

While open cast and underground mining (UG) are taking place during the current fiscal, the entire production will be from UG mining starting next fiscal.

With the government targeting to ramp up domestic mineral production, HCL seeks to re-open the Rakha mine in Jharkhand which has a peak rated capacity to produce 3 million tonne.

“We have already applied with the Jharkhand government and are waiting for the renewal of the mining lease. The mining plan has also been approved by the government,” he said. 

The other copper mines are at Khetri Copper Complex in Rajasthan, Indian Copper Complex at Ghatsila, Jharkhand, Taloja Copper Project in Maharashtra and Gujarat Copper Project.