The mining disruption at the Surda copper mine will affect the state owned the Hindustan Copper for sometime. The India Resources Ltd (IRL), the mining contractor, terminated the contract to operate the mine with effect from June two. “We have identified and working for an alternative contractor for operating the mine, but we are unable to give any time frame by when the new operator will be in place,” a HCL official told PTI. Moreover, the cost of production for HCL was expected to rise, he said. A key reason for termination of mining contract was unable to receive reimbursement of 40 per cent increase in statutory wages, made effective by government since January 2017, from the HCL triggering strikes by workers, IRL claimed. HCL contested the claim under the terms of contract. Both had mutually agreed to extend the contract for nine months from April, 2017, they said. HCL said measures to restore normal production from the mines by deploying a new contractor was likely to take sometime. The production activities of Surda mine are currently affected and in May the production dipped to just 25 MT, one tenth of normal production, officials said.