In a First, Hindustan Zinc Deploys India’s First Ever Battery-Operated Vehicle into Underground Mining Operation – EQ Mag
• Hindustan Zinc is the first company among its peers to join the EV revolution, steadily switching to electric vehicles for its underground operations
• The company will invest USD 1 billion for converting all diesel-run 900 odd mining vehicles to battery operated ones
In a first-of-its-kind initiative in the Indian mining sector, Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta group company, has introduced Normet Agitator SmartDrive EV, into its underground mining operations. The company will soon expand its BEV fleet with Normet’s Explosive Charger (CHARMEC MC 605 V SD) and Concrete Sprayer (SPRAYMEC MF 050 VC SD). Hindustan Zinc is the first company among its peers to join the EV revolution, steadily switching to electric vehicles for its underground operations. The company has set a target of converting all diesel-run 900-odd mining vehicles into battery operated ones over the next five years and has earmarked an investment of over USD 1 billion for the same.
Hindustan Zinc, together with the Finnish technology company Normet Group Oy, has inducted battery-powered service equipment and utility vehicles into underground mining to help decarbonize and improve environmental sustainability in the mining industry. Each of the Normet SmartDrive EVs are based on a modular Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) architecture that is designed to optimise energy consumption and performance in underground mining, including tunnelling applications. The SmartDrive EVs enable higher productivity, lower operating costs, and, most importantly, zero emissions. The BEVs have been inducted at the company’s Sindesar Khurd (SK) Mine which is a world class silver-rich mine with state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities and best-in-class mechanisation.
Commenting on the induction of the EVs, Mr Arun Misra, CEO, Hindustan Zinc, said, “Our aim at Hindustan Zinc is to revolutionise underground mining, boost productivity, raise underground safety standards, and provide sustainable operations solutions. Thanks to our unwavering commitment to environmentally sustainable business and net zero emissions, we’ve always focused on innovative and environmentally friendly solutions. I believe the introduction of battery-electric vehicles in Hindustan Zinc’s underground mining operations will revolutionise the sector and mark a great step forward for India in terms of responsible mining.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Subhasis Mohanty, Managing Director, Normet India, said, “We are pleased to partner with Hindustan Zinc to solidify our ESG commitment, by bringing into reality the first of our fleet of Normet SmartDrive ® BEVs in HZL underground mines. Our association has been valuable to drive common goals on sustainability and decarbonisation in the Indian mining sector, driving transformation in the underground space and building long-term value for all our stakeholders.”
Hindustan Zinc will gain considerable benefits from the adoption of Normet SmartDrive EVs, including significant HSD savings and vehicle maintenance. These SmartDrive electric vehicles are powered by 90kWH lithium-ion batteries and come equipped with myriad advanced technologies such as energy recuperation technology, hydraulic dual-circuit oil-immersed brakes to provide additional braking power, etc. The vehicles also have the advantage of zero-emission in the operating environments, considerable noise and vibration reduction associated with equipment. In addition to that, BEVs comes with high-efficiency driveline and consumes less kWh/ km compared to diesel ones.
Hindustan Zinc is a pioneer in the sector, continually deploying transformational and sustainable technologies in pursuit of sustainable mining. The introduction of the EVs serves as yet another decisive step for its sustainable and smart operations goals. Hindustan Zinc’s abiding commitment to sustainability and environmental-friendly solutions, then, puts it on the path to achieve its Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) of achieving a 0.5mn tCO2e reduction by 2025.
About Hindustan Zinc Limited
Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group Company, is one of the world’s largest and India’s only integrated producer of Zinc-Lead and Silver. The Company has its headquarters at Udaipur in the State of Rajasthan where it has its Zinc-Lead mines and smelting complexes. Hindustan Zinc is self-sufficient in power with captive thermal power plants and has ventured into green energy by setting upwind power plants. The Company is ranked 1st in Asia-Pacific for the fourth consecutive year and globally 3rd in S&P Global Corporate Responsibility Assessment in 2022 amongst Mining & Metal companies. Hindustan Zinc is a certified Water Positive Company and is the only Indian company to be recognised at the S&P Global Platts Metal Award 2022 and has won the two prestigious awards for ‘Industry Leadership Award – Base, Precious and Specialty Metals’ Award and ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ Award.
The company takes pride in having some of the best-in-class people practices and employee-centric initiatives, which have certified Hindustan Zinc as – ‘Great Place to Work 2022’, ‘Company with Great Managers 2022’ by People Business and the People-first HR Excellence Award.
As a socially responsible corporate, Hindustan Zinc has been relentlessly working to improve the lives of rural and tribal people residing near its business locations. The company is amongst the Top 15 CSR Spenders in India and are currently reaching out to 1.4 million people in 234 villages out of which 184 in Rajasthan, and 34 in Uttarakhand. As a market leader, Hindustan Zinc governs about ~80% of the growing Zinc market in India.