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Once a large-scale industry, this defunct copper unit cries for revival

Staff Correspondent
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The high cost of production and sharp decline in price of copper in the market are the major reasons for Chitradurga Copper Company becoming defunct.
The high cost of production and sharp decline in price of copper in the market are the major reasons for Chitradurga Copper Company becoming defunct.

The industry-starved Chitradurga district once had a large-scale industry that was providing jobs to over 900 persons.

Till some 15 years ago, the district had a copper industry which was run by the Chitradurga Copper Company (CCC) involved in extraction of copper.

But owing to various reasons, primarily the high cost of production and sharp decline in the price of copper in the market, the lone major industry of the district came to grinding halt, due to which expensive machinery is now getting defunct.

Located at Ingaladal village, some eight km from Chitradurga, the industry was established in 1972 to extract 250 tonnes of copper per day. The Department of Mines and Geology, which had prepared the project plan, permitted the industry to be set up on 640 acres of land where the ore was being extracted and grinded.

Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) was purchasing the ore and transporting it to Bihar, where it had a copper industry. During that time, each tonne of copper ore was sold at Rs. 2,750, which was later increased to Rs. 3,325. Despite the HCL paying more for the ore, the production cost was still too high to make any profit. “Another reason for the company suffering losses was the lack of interest shown by the government. On the one hand, the cost of production was increasing and on the other, no efforts were made to modernise the machinery to meet the market demand,” said G.S. Ujjanappa, a journalist.

Considering the constant loss, the State Government in 1985 decided to amalgamate it with the Hutti Gold Company of Raichur, following which the company made efforts to revive the loss-making industry. Initially the HCL offered Rs. 9,148 a tonne, however, it suddenly reduced the cost to Rs. 4,700 a tonne, which dealt a severe blow to the already suffering industry. The industry which kept cascading towards irrecoverable loss, reached to the stage of closure.

The Hutti Gold Company later shifted a few employees to Raichur and gave voluntary retirement to others.

Though the company has been closed and huge machinery getting defunct, however, according to the sources, the proposal for reviving the industry is before the Government.

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