Engineering & Mining Journal

JAN 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 46 of 59

INDIA MINING REPORT JANUARY 2019 • E&MJ 45 for which the company has reportedly tied up with Emirates Global Aluminum for global sourcing of the raw material. Post expansion, the Odisha aluminum complex would required an estimated 18 million ton of bauxite per annum. Nalco, the state-run aluminum compa- ny, has lined up a capital expenditure of $164 million to part fund its plans to add a 1-million-mt/y fifth stream alumina refinery, development of coal blocks for its captive thermal power plant after having achieved 100% capacity utilization of its existing alumina plant during the current year. But close to exhausting its captive bauxite operations at Panchpatmali hills, Nalco has commenced work on opening up a new bauxite deposit in proximity to its existing mining operations. The new mining face would just about enable the aluminum producer to maintain its re- quirement of more than 6.8 million mt/y. However, Nalco's plans to construct a new aluminum complex in neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh has been caught in a limbo. The reason? Roadblocks to opening up a new bauxite mine. For decades, indigenous population at the proposed bauxite mine located in Andhra Pradesh, backed by various opposi- tion political parties and even extreme-Left wing armed militants have been opposing development of the bauxite reserves. Copper Close to 30% of India's domestic demand for refined copper was currently being met through imports, given the inherent limitations in developing greenfield cop- per deposits across the country. Indian imports of refined copper was 250,000 mt during 2017-2018, up from around 65,000 mt during 2010-2011 with domestic demand for refined copper increasing at average 6%-7% per year. Indian refined copper production during 2017-2018 was estimated at 843,000 mt compared to 798,000 mt in the previous fiscal with consumption during 2017- 2018 pegged at around 660,000 mt. Indian refined copper prices have surged between 9%-15% since May 2018 when Sterlite Industries copper smelter in southern state of Kerala was closed down after police opened fire and killed 13 peo- ple among a mass of protestors against pol- lution created by the smelter in the region. Sterlite, which produced 400,000 mt of refined copper based on imported copper ore, was a subsidiary of London-headquar- tered Vedanta Resources and has about 33% share of the domestic copper market. Hindustan Copper Ltd., sole integrat- ed copper producer, with its own captive mines, has assembled an investment package of $764 million to expand its existing copper mines aiming to increase production of copper ore to 20 million mt/y over the next five years from current level of 12.4 million mt/y. The company reported it has com- pleted almost 50% of development work at its Malanjkhad mines in central state of Madhya Pradesh and expending to commence production next fiscal, which would give the company an incremental 500,000 mt/y of copper ore. HCL was also working on a brownfield expansion of is Ghatsila mines in eastern India, which the company in a statement reported it held the potential of adding 1.5 million mt/y of copper ore production. Ajoy K Das is a freelance writer based in Kolkata, India. He has been covering the scene there for E&MJ for many years. He can be reached at:

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