Hindustan Zinc To Use BEVs in Underground Mining, Partners with Normet Group

Highlights :

  • HZL will replace all of its diesel vehicles and equipment with BEVs at all its UG mines.
  • With an investment of up to $1 billion, the plan will take five years to get accomplished.
  • HZL has partnered with Normet Group for deploying its SmartDrive EVs.

Indian mining major, Hindustan Zinc Ltd. (HZL), today announced its big plan for decarbonization of its mines.

HZL has partnered with Normet Group that works for making underground mining and tunnelings digitalized and sustainable, to introduce India’s first battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in underground (UG) mines. 

HZL’s CEO MR, Arun Misra has announced an investment of  USD 1 billion to replace all of its ICE/diesel vehicles with BEVs across all of its mines in the country by the next five years. Mr. Misra took the news to his Twitter handle too, 

Vedanta Group’s mining arm, HZL has signed an agreement with Normet Group to introduce front-line battery-powered service equipment in underground mining. In the first phase of their plan, they will deploy three of the Normet SmartDrive EVs including, ‘Spraymec‘, an ‘Agitator‘, and a ‘Charmec‘ in their UG mines.

Speaking of their plans, the CEO of HZL, Mr. Arun Misra stated, “We have a timeline of next five years of replacing all our current equipment as and when the replacements are due. Then they will be replaced by battery-operated equipment so that in five to six years our mines will be free from diesel-operated equipment. We have hundreds of them, not even ten or twenty.”

“So, the two together will complete one mining operation section of a mine. We have got eight mines (in India), this is the beginning. This would help the company test and understand the pros and cons and the infrastructure required for maintenance and take the process forward,” Misra added. 

The firm declared that Normet SmartDrive EV will significantly help it in saving a huge amount in high-speed diesel (HSD) and its maintenance. Substituting the HSD vehicles with Normet SmartDrive BEVs will save around 3 lakh liters of HSD per vehicle.

Normet SmartDrive is a modular BEV architecture created to optimize energy consumption and performance in underground mining and tunneling applications.

“Our partnership with Hindustan Zinc for the Normet SmartDrive Vehicles is a step on our collective journey for safe, sustainable, and green mining,” expressed Mr. Subhasis Mohanty, Vice President, India Sales Area & MD Normet India. 

According to HZL, diesel vehicles and equipment in the mines generating a lot of heat, fumes, and carbon dioxide requiring a constant supply of oxygen. Replacing these with BEVs will be able to save on maintenance costs, the total cost of ownership besides making the mine environment much superior compared to what we have in our country.

Speaking of the partnership, “Our partnership with Normet reinforces our commitment to sustainable operations for a greener tomorrow by helping us achieve our Sustainability Development Goal of reducing carbon emissions. We believe the introduction of BEVs in UG mining will be a game-changer for the industry and a big leap by India towards responsible mining,” Misra said in a statement.

He also added, “We already have solar power plants in many of our mines and will be using the solar power for charging the vehicles.”

Earlier also HZL had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Epiroc Rock Drills AB for Zero Emission and Sustainable Mining by introducing Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) in underground mining.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.

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