Hindalco to spend Rs 10k cr in FY11; scouts for mines

India?s top aluminium maker Hindalco Industries Ltd on Tuesday said the company is looking to acquire copper mines….

India?s top aluminium maker Hindalco Industries Ltd on Tuesday said the company is looking to acquire copper mines overseas. ?Our objective is to have 40% of our concentrate requirement coming from our own mines. However, currently, around 25% is sourced from our own mines and we are falling short by 15%. So, we will definitely have to acquire mines,? managing director Debu Bhattacharya said without revealing any further details.

Hindalco operates copper mines in Australia under its unit, Aditya Birla Minerals. The company currently requires about 4 lakh tonne of copper, for which it has about 1 lakh tonne of copper concentrate.

When asked whether the company is looking at achieving the 15% shortfall in the current financial year, S Talukdar, CFO, said, ?It is our strategic vision to go for backward integration. Whether we will achieve that in this fiscal is anybody?s guess because copper prices, at present, are at an all-time high. So, it may not be the right time to buy copper mines. But you can still achieve the target without acquiring mines, i.e., by entering into a long-term contract for offtake. And we have few offtake contracts in hand. We are exploring all the possibilities,? he said on the sidelines of a press conference.

Hindalco Industries shares on Tuesday slipped 5.81% to close at Rs 132.20 on the BSE.

Talukdar said that company has marked a capex of about Rs 10,000 crore to be spent in the current financial year. Around 70% of that amount will be debts. ?We are undertaking expansion projects worth $5 billion by 2014. Of this 30% is equity for which we are fully funded and the rest is debt, of which we have raised Rs 4,900 crore for Utkal project.?

Hindalco will require money for its Mahan Aluminium Project, a smelter-power plant complex that boasts of a 359-KTPA aluminum smelter and a 900-mw captive thermal power plant. The project, located in Madhya Pradesh, will see a total capital expenditure of Rs 9,200 crore and is expected to be ready by the second quarter of FY2012. Its Utkal Alumina Refinery, a 1.5-million tonne per annum (MTPA) project in Orissa aimed at producing alumina from bauxite, is expected to be ready by around the same time.

Hindalco Industries last week said its consolidated net profit for the year ended March 2010 grew sharply due to improved profitability at its Canadian subsidiary Novelis and accounting gains from previous derivative transactions.

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First published on: 09-06-2010 at 22:55 IST