We operate one of the largest custom copper smelters in India, and are also among the largest copper rod producers in the country. Our copper operations comprise among the most efficient custom copper smelters globally, with the lowest operating cost.
According to experts, the domestic demand for refined copper, currently at 6,70,000 tons, is set to grow exponentially, creating a huge market in the coming years. India is expected to be the sixth largest copper market by 2020, driven by key government initiatives such as developing smart cities, producing renewable energy and driving adoption of electric vehicles. Vedanta contributes to meeting this growing need by ensuring the availability of the right quality of copper to various industrial sectors. Currently, Vedanta serves over 800 small, medium and large enterprises in the downstream industry, including the country's electrical, defense, construction and automobile sector.
Sterlite Copper has the distinction of meeting 36% of the national demand. Our Indian facilities include a custom smelter, a refinery, a phosphoric acid plant, a sulphuric acid plant and a copper rod plant. In addition, we also operate a captive power plant in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, and a refinery and two copper rod plants operating in Silvassa, western India. In FY2018, we achieved a record 403,000 tonnes of copper cathode production through in-house technological upgrades and debottlenecking.
Vedanta has copper smelting and mining operations across India, Australia and Zambia. Total mined metal production in 2015-16 was 123 kt and 182 kt of finished copper. The production of copper cathodes was 384 kt in FY16.
79.4% of our Zambian copper business (Konkola Copper Mines is directly owned by Vedanta Resources. The Indian and Australian copper business is directly held by Vedanta Ltd., a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources. Copper division (Sterlite Copper) at Vedanta Ltd. is a custom smelter at Tuticorin, India. In addition, the company also owns the Mt. Lyell copper mine in Tasmania, Australia, which provides a small percentage of the copper concentrate requirements of the Tuticorin smelter. Vedanta Resources owns a controlling 62.9 % stake in Vedanta Limited (formerly known as Sesa Sterlite Ltd/Sesa Goa Ltd.).
At Konkola, we have the flagship Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP), which involves expanding the production of copper ore at the Konkola mine by accessing the rich ore body that lies beneath what the current operations have been exploiting. This involves the sinking of a new mine shaft to the depth of 1,500 metres, the deepest new shaft sinking project in Africa. The Nchanga mining operations are situated in the vicinity of the town of Chingola. Primary copper and cobalt are mined here through both underground and open pits. In Nampundwe, we have an underground pyrite mine and concentrator. These are located in the Central Province of Zambia, approximately 50 kilometres west of Lusaka.
Sterlite Copper a division of Vedanta Ltd., operates a 400,000 Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) copper Smelter with associates facilities such as Refinery and copper Rod Plant, Sulphuric Acid plant of more 12,00,000 MTPA and a Phosphoric Acid of 220,000 MTPA at Thoothukudi, Tamilnadu. Sterlite Copper also operates a 160 MW coal based power plant in Thoothkudi, Tamilnadu. Sterlite Copper has two units in Silvassa in the Union Territory of Daman & Diu where it operates a Refinery and two Copper Rods Plants (one in Chincpada and another in Piparia).