India’s Hindustan Copper (HCL) has announced the commissioning of its underground metal mine in Balaghat district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

According to the state-owned company, the Malanjkhand Underground mine would be constructed at an investment of Rs18.56bn ($298.7m), post commissioning.

The mine will have a capacity of five million tonnes a year and would be constructed below the existing open cast mine.

Claimed to be the largest underground metal mine in India, the new project is expected to complement the country’s Make in India initiative by increasing accessibility to raw materials for manufacturing refined copper products, The Economic Times reported.

"The new project is expected to…increase accessibility to raw materials for manufacturing refined copper products."

HCL’s latest underground mine project, which is expected to take five years to complete, is also set to create a momentum mega copper mining project in the country.

Union Minister of Steel and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar said the ministry proposes to increase the availability of raw material, as well as the share of mining in the GDP.

Said to be a key milestone toward that goal, the MMDR Amendment Act 2015 is expected to lure investment in the mining sector.

Further, the ministry has also taken certain proactive measures to improve standards of living for the people affected by mining.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said HCL’s underground mine project will increase employment opportunities in Balaghat.

HCL said that upon successful implementation, the project will reduce the country’s dependence on imported copper concentrates.