In the presence of Professor Rajiv Shekhar, Director, IIT (ISM), Dhanbad, and Arun Kumar Shukla, CMD, HCL, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaborative and sponsored research projects was signed between Hindustan Copper Limited and the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, at the HCL Corporate Office in Kolkata.
For HCL, the sole copper miner in India and owner of all active mining leases for copper ore in the country, the first technical partnership with IIT (ISM), Dhanbad, is a historic event. The majority of ore is now produced underground exclusively, with annual output averaging around four million tonnes, according to government sources in this city.
The ore body’s complex geological characteristics and increased depth of mining have resulted in a number of geo-technical and groundwater-related problems, as well as technical and operational issues that must be dealt with while maintaining safety standards and addressing emerging sustainability issues.
With a roughly threefold increase in ore production capacity, HCL is currently in a growth phase. In most of its mines, project development activities are either ongoing in nature or are already planned. The ore that has been dug out is currently processed at the company’s own ore beneficiation facilities, and the Metals in Concentrate (MIC) is sold in two parts: a portion on the domestic market and the remainder on the global market.
IIT-ISM, Dhanbad, being an institute of national repute, particularly in the fields of mineral mining and its beneficiation and Earth Sciences, will play a key role in resolving the new geological, technical, environmental, sustainable, and ore beneficiation issues for achieving the planned expansion program of HCL.
The current MoU will address HCL’s need for technical assistance, guidance, and consultancy work from IIT-ISM for enhancing copper ore production through modifying mining methods with the application of cutting-edge technologies, improvement of productivity and safety in mines, environmental clearance issues, various Hydrological & Hydro-geological studies, and in areas of unconventional exploration methods like Geophysical exploration, Remote Sensing, etc. for depth exploratory drilling.
The Company wants to collaborate with IIT-ISM to carry out R&D projects for the development of the Indian copper mining industry, as well as to train and educate HCL engineers and managers in the areas of exploration, ore beneficiation, and various other statutory/mine regulation amendments or related matters.