Public sector Hindustan Copper, the only vertically integrated copper company with captive mines, is mulling a divestment of around 20 per cent. It is already a listed company with a public shareholding of less than five per cent and is engaged in mining, beneficiation, smelting and refining.

The company had proposed the divestment plan to its parent Ministry, sources told The Hindu. When contacted, HCL Chairman-cum-Managing Director Shakeel Ahmed refused to comment, merely saying: “This is one of the options that are being explored for the company.”

He said HCL needed investment of Rs. 3,900 crore by 2017-18 in the three regions that it was operating. The needs of the eastern sector, where HCL has some of its oldest mines in Jharkhand, is the highest at Rs. 1,800 crore, followed by the central sector where HCL has operation at Malanjkhand in Madhya Pradesh and a conversion unit at Taloja in Maharashtra which needs Rs. 1,500 crore, while the western sector comprising the mines in Rajasthan which requires Rs. 600 crore.

Mr Ahmed said that while this was the capital requirement for HCL, the routes of raising funds might be a mix of service contracts and risk-sharing agreements, besides internal accruals.

HCL is now executing the service contract for its Surda mines in Jharkhand through Australian company Monarch Gold Mining. Besides mining primary copper, HCL makes copper cathodes, wire rods and bars and continuous cast rods.

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