Marking the first time Chinese companies will be developing Indian Copper mines in India, state-owned Hindustan Copper announced that three Chinese companies are part of consortiums that have bagged Rs 1,800-crore worth (US$105 million) of five contracts for engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) in Rajasthan. While Chinese firms have been involved in India’s steel, telecom and power sectors, this will be their first entry into the copper market, one which China dominates globally.
According to the company, a consortium of Maheshwari Mining and Wenzhou Construction Group of China has bagged the engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) contract worth Rs 97 crore (US$18.3 million) to develop Khetri mines in Rajasthan over a five-year period. Two other Chinese firms, Laiwu Steel Group Mine Construction and Sinosteel Engineering Design & Research Institute of China, are part of a consortium which has bagged Rs 206.34-crore (US$39 million) project at HCL’s Surda mines in Jharkhand. Shriram EPC Ltd is the lead member of the consortium which will supply and instal winders, ore handling system and allied mines development. The Rs 256.50-crore (US$48 million) contract for development of a 1.5 MT underground mine in Jharkhand’s Chapri-Sideshwar has been bagged by Maheshwari Mining along with Wenzhou. The projects are expected to raise HCL’s production four-fold to 12 million tonnes over the next five years.
In a recent interview, Shakeel Ahmed, Chief Managing Director, HCL, said “our basic focus is to focus on mining projects, which will add value to the company in the long run and add to the sustainability of profit. In five years we are looking at Hindustan Copper with four times the mining capacity. So, our bread and butter is focussed on project implementation, that is where the value is. As far as other things are concerned, foreign acquisitions is the second in line. If we get suitable opportunities, then subject to approvals, we can carry it forward.”