Hindustan Zinc becomes first Indian mining company to deploy electric vehicle for underground operations


India’s Hindustan has deployed a battery electric vehicle (BEV) for its underground mining operations at its Sindesar Khurd mine, becoming the industry first to lead the green race in the country.

The deployment of Normet Agitator SmartDrive EV forms part of Hindustan ’s strategy to gradually shift to battery-powered service equipment and utility vehicles for the company’s underground operations to decarbonize and improve environmental sustainability in the mining industry.

The Finnish technology company Oy-developed SmartDrive EV is expected to help Hindustan increase output, lower operating costs, optimize consumption, and achieve zero emissions.

Hindustan will invest $1 billion to alter all diesel-run 900-plus mining vehicles to battery-operated ones over the next five years.

The Vedanta group company will shortly equip its BEVs with Normet’s Explosive Charger (CHARMEC MC 605 V SD) and Concrete Sprayer (SPRAYMEC MF 050 VC SD).

Hindustan Zinc deploys the Normet Agitator SmartDrive EV at the Sindesar Khurd mine

Hindustan deploys the Normet Agitator SmartDrive EV at the Sindesar Khurd mine. Photo courtesy of Hindustan Zinc Limited/Business Wire India.

Arun Misra — Hindustan CEO said: “Our aim at Hindustan Zinc is to revolutionize 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.”

Powered by 90kWH lithium-ion battery pack, the SmartDrive electric vehicle features recuperation technology, noise and vibration reduction equipment, and hydraulic dual-circuit oil-immersed brakes as well as consumes less kWh/ km compared to diesel ones.

Subhasis Mohanty — Normet India Managing Director said: “We are pleased to partner with Hindustan to solidify our ESG commitment, by bringing into reality the first of our fleet of Normet SmartDrive BEVs in HZL underground mines.”

Commissioned in 2006, Sindesar Khurd is a silver-rich mine situated 82kms northeast of Udaipur, Rajasthan.

The deployment of EVs is expected to help Hindustan Zinc achieve its sustainable development goal of reducing 0.5mn tCO2e by 2025.

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