Kolkata: State-run Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) on Friday reported that its net profit jumped over four times to Rs 28.55 crore for the quarter ended September 30 as compared to Rs 6.77 crore in the year-ago period.

The miner is set to form a joint venture company with National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL) for exploration and mining strategic minerals aboard. "Our board has approved the joint venture proposal, so has the board of MECL. Once the NALCO board approves the proposal, a company will be formed to deal in the area of strategic minerals," company's Chairman and Managing Director Santosh Sharma told reporters.

The proposed joint venture company named KABIL - Khanij Bidesh India Ltd - will be formed to explore and exploit rare metals such as titanium, gallerium and rhenium, which could be used in defence equipment, spacecraft and shipbuilding. Sharma said the JV company would primarily deal with government to government business and would look at the African countries and Canada for the exploration of these minerals.

HCL's revenue from operations, in the quarter under review, stood at Rs 519.33 crore, up by 187 per cent from Rs 180.78 crore in the year-ago period. The miner also reported that its total expenses in the second quarter of the current fiscal was at Rs 495.77 crore as against Rs 204.52 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

The city headquartered company is presently implementing mine expansion scheme to quadruple its copper ore production capacity from 3.4 million tonnes to 12.4 million tonnes per annum within the next five years. The company said its board has approved the proposal to increase the borrowing limits from consortium or other banks by way of overdraft or cash credit or working capital demand loan up to an aggregate of Rs 650 crore.

The copper sales volume in the first half of fiscal 2017-18 increased by 85.38 per cent to 20,323 tonnes compared to 10,963 tonnes in corresponding period of the last year, the company added.

The company is also in the process of investing about Rs 200 crore for extracting precious metals such as gold and silver from its copper tailings or the copper left behind after extraction from the ore. "If we process 10,000 tonnes of copper tailings a day we can get close to 1.1kg of gold and 11 kg of silver a day," Sharma added.

IANS