The mining industry is huge in India and while traditionally diesel-powered vehicles were used in the execution, electrification seems to have caught up here as well. Hindustan Zinc, the country’s only (claimed) producer of Zinc-lead and Silver, has signed an Memorandum of Understanding with Finland’s Normet Group Oy to introduce battery-powered service equipment and utility vehicles in underground mining. It may be noted that earlier this year Hindustan had signed an agreement with Epiroc Rock Drills AB to bring in a frontline fleet of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) in their underground mines. The Normet SmartDrive EVs that will be launched here includes a Spraymec, an Agitator, and a Charmec, in the first phase. The Normet SmartDrive EV claims to significantly allow HZL in saving a huge amount in terms of diesel and maintenance. As we are aware, EVs require next to no maintenance.
Up to 17 litres of high-speed diesel is consumed by a Normet underground mine vehicle in an hour. If HZL were to substitute this with EVs, nearly 10 lakh litres of fuel will be saved, thereby reducing India’s diesel import bill. The diesel-run machines also have a limited life whereas with few moving parts for a battery-operated vehicle, the longevity is higher. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) makes Hindustan Zinc become the first mining company in India to deploy Battery Electric Utility Vehicles in underground mining.
Arun Misra, CEO, Hindustan Zinc said, “At Hindustan Zinc, we have always prioritised innovating and implementing environment-friendly solutions as our commitment to sustainable business and now towards the Race to Net Zero. 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 Battery Electric Vehicle in underground mining will be a game-changer for the industry and a big leap by India towards Responsible Mining.”
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