The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Second copper mine for Birlas in Australia

Mumbai, Sept. 23: The Aditya Birla group has acquired its second copper mine in Australia for Rs 65 crore.

The acquisition of Mount Gordon copper mines at Queensland is through Birla Mineral Ltd, a wholly-owned Australian subsidiary of Hindalco.

“The acquisition is a major strategic step in our move to become a global competitive integrated copper player,” Aditya Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said here today.

“The acquisition is a good fit into our Australian operations,” he added.

The buyout, second in six months, will help the group raise its captive sources for copper concentrate to almost one-third of its requirements.

“It is a proactive step to entrench ownership in upstream mines. The deal has been signed at a very opportune time, subsequent to our successfully stabilising the acquisition of the Nifty Copper Mines earlier this year,” he added.

Mount Gordon was owned by Western Metals Limited, a copper, lead and zinc miner which went into receivership in July. Mount Gordon’s resources are estimated at 20 million tonnes of ore containing 3.6 per cent copper.

The Birlas purchased the Nifty Copper Mine in Australia some six months ago from Straits Resources Ltd.

Hindalco, which runs the group’s copper business, is expanding its copper smelter capacity at Dahej in western India to 250,000 tonnes a year from 150,000 and hopes to complete this expansion by the end of 2003.

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