Hindalco is scouting for copper mines abroad for backward integration of its copper business with concentrates, said its managing director Satish Pai. “We won’t run them, but we may take an equity interest, and based on that equity interest we will get our share of production,” Pai told ET.
he company, a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Group, has 10-year term import contracts for copper concentrates that fulfil 80-90% of its requirement, but these are more expensive. It plans to acquire stake in a mine as part of the next phase of expansion of its copper business. Copper concentrates are raw material used for copper smelting, and captive sources for the material will help the company reduce dependence on the international market.
The company had two copper mines in Australia that were run by a subsidiary called Aditya Birla Minerals, but these were sold off two years ago.For its next phase of copper expansion, Hindalco may choose US or Canada as its preferred destination. “We prefer the more developed places because it’s easier to manage – that will be US, Canada,” said Pai.
Other countries where copper is found are Peru, Chile, Australia, Indonesia and Africa. Pai said the company, via its parent’s in-house mining arm, Essel Mining, is also looking at lithium possibilities in India since lithium is one of the most common alloys used with aluminium.