“In FY 2022-23, the copper ore production in India was around 3.35 million tonnes. HCL is implementing a plan to increase its mining capacity from its current level of ore production to 12.2 MTPA in Phase-I in the next 6 to 7 years,” Sharma said.
He added that the company has achieved ore production of 33.47 lakh tonnes during FY 2022-23 as against 35.70 lakh tonnes produced in FY 2021-22.
Sharma said the company is also focusing on exploration and has enhanced its budget for this head by five times as compared to the last 10 years.
“The efforts of exploration have led to an increase in copper ore reserve & resources by 66.59 million tonnes of ore. The geological drilling and associated work completed in FY 2022-23 is around four times theexploration activities undertaken by the Company in the last 10 years,” he said.
Sharma said the expansion of MCP (in Madhya Pradesh) will augment the ore production capacity from 2.5 to 5.0 MTPA by developing an underground mine below the existing open pit. The proposed expansion of mines in the western sector – Khetri and Kolihan in Rajasthan – will increase ore production capacity fromexisting 1.0 to 3.0 MTPA. The proposed expansion and reopening of Surda Mine in Jharkhand will increase its production capacity from 0.4 MTPA to 0.9 MTPA.
Sharma said the expansion projects will boost domestic production of copper metal to reduce India’s dependence on imports.