New Delhi, Apr 24: Country's top zinc producer Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) today said it will expand its total zinc-lead capacity to 10,65,000 tonnes per annum with an investment of Rs 3,600 crore. This expansion, with fully integrated mining and captive power generation capacities, will make HZL the world's largest integrated zinc-lead producer by 2010 with a total investment estimated at Rs 3,600 crore, a company statement said.
This investment includes the cost of the smelters, captive power facilities, mine development and shaft sinking and other infrastructure. Two brownfield smelter projects, which will increase the production capacities of zinc and lead by 2,10,000 kt and 1,00,000 kt respectively, will be undertaken at Rajpura Dariba in Rajasthan, it added.
HZL also expects to increase its annual silver production from the current levels of 100-200 tonnes to about 500 tonnes in the form of silver and silver hearing residue.
A large part of this increase would be from the Sindesar Khurd mine where silver occurrences are at levels of 200 ppm and from the use of appropriate technology in the new smelters.
The expansion is supported by HZL's strong reserves and resources of 232.3 million tonnes containing 27.5 million twines of Zinc-lead metal at March 31, 2008, the statement added.
To support the increased smelting capacities, HZL will expand its ore production capacity at the Rampura Agucha mine from five mtpa to six mtpa.
Further, ore production at the Sindesar Khurd mine will be increased from 0.3 mtpa to 1.5 mtpa.
HZL will also start mining activity at the Kayar mine which will have a production capacity of 0.3 mtpa.
A captive thermal power plant with a capacity of 160 MW will also be set up at Rajpura Dariba.
The zinc and lead smelters as well as the 160 MW captive power plant and the Rampura Agucha mine expansion will be complete by mid-2010, the statement said, adding that expansion at the Sindesar Khurd and Kayar mines will be completed in phases by early 2012.
The expansion will utilise the same technology and project management skills that successfully delivered the Chanderiya II expansion project ahead of schedule.
The company has also cut zinc prices by 2.3 per cent or Rs 2,400 rupees a tonne to Rs 1,02,400 a tonne.
Lead prices have also been decreased by 2.2 per cent or Rs 2,800 a tonne to Rs 1,25,700 a tonne.