Indian conglomerates Adani Group and Vedanta are planning to install new copper smelters, according to Pralhad Joshi, India’s mining minister.
These smelters will be in addition to Sterlite and other copper plants run by Hindustan Copper and Hindalco Industries.
India became net copper importer in 2018-19 following the closure of Tuticorin plant in Tamil Nadu in May 2018. India’s refined copper imports went up by 48,405mt in 2018-19 to 92,290mt from the prior year. Copper exports dropped by 330,638mt to 47,917mt in 2018-19.
Tuticorin plant had an annual capacity of 0.04mn mt. Following the closure of the plant, India imported 44,373mt of copper during 2018-19. In 2017-18, India exported 334,310mt copper, according to the ministry.
India’s per capita consumption of copper is 0.5kg and the consumption is likely to reach 1kg by 2026 as copper consumption is growing at 10pc annually at the compound rate.
India’s copper production capacity in 1mn mt, 2.50pc of the global production capacity.