Udaipur, Rajasthan, India:
Hindustan Zinc has strived towards excellence for decades by giving equal importance to their core business of mining operations by developing the mines using best-in-class technology and implementing smart, safe, and sustainable operations across its sites. The company has established numerous production and R&D facilities, including activities throughout Rajasthan.
The company which is also one of the world’s largest Zinc-Lead-Silver producers, has embarked on a holistic digital transformation program for their entire value chain, to drive a different way of working for a sustainable future. With a data-driven, agile, integrated, and collaborative approach, the company is enabling better and real-time data-based decision-making through the integration of technologies across the value chain, resulting in reducing waste, increasing resource efficiency, and driving up productivity, improving safe work practices while promoting the harnessing of renewable energy sources.
In line with the company’s overarching goal of creating ‘Mines of the Future’, Hindustan Zinc is infusing a digital way of working across all verticals of operations. The key operations are mining, milling, smelting before finished goods goes to market. The company is using drones in UG mining operations to scan stopes and volumetry measurements of bulk material. It also uses computer vision-based technologies. It also uses computer vision-based technologies to detect quality defects and unsafe working conditions which helps in improving product quality & safety standards. IIOT sensors and cloud technology are helping to generate and collect data from remote assets, which is a key to strategic decision making. AI/ML-based predictive models are also helping to improve the reliability of critical assets. Additionally, the company uses IoT technologies to deploy smart sensors on HEMM equipment to monitor performance, health, reliability on a real-time basis in all our underground operations.
To ensure safe mining, Hindustan Zinc uses collision avoidance systems and personnel tracking. A collision avoidance system improves operator situational awareness in underground mining and prevents machine-to-machine and man-to-machine interactions. A Personnel Tracking System facilitates the transmission of alert messages from the Control Room to the Individual Tag and vice versa.
Hindustan Zinc has also strengthened their mining operations by including various cutting-edge technologies in their day-to-day operations, which includes 3D simulator, Augmented/Virtual Reality tool used to teach heavy machinery operations to operators. Additionally, automated, and tele-remote drilling operations are being used during the shift-change over (smoke hours) to increase production, improve safety, visibility, and control from outside the drilling cabin. Electrical substation automation has facilitated faster troubleshooting and reduced non-working hours due to reasons like power tripping. It has also improved power quality, voltage sag, and swell events, which has helped to improve and optimize energy consumption.
The mining industry has seen tremendous surge in technological advancements over the past few years, and companies are constantly seeking ways to keep their employees up to date with the latest innovations. The company has taken a proactive step in this direction by launching its own Mining Academy. The Academy is designed to provide employees with training and education on the latest mining technologies and operations, helping employees to stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving industry. By investing in the skills and knowledge of its workforce, Hindustan Zinc is not only ensuring the safety and productivity of its operations but also contributing to the growth and sustainability of the mining industry.
Furthermore, Hindustan Zinc has become the first mining company in India to introduce electric utility vehicles into underground mines. With few up & running, the company plans to invest USD 1 billion for converting all diesel-run 900 odd mining vehicles to battery operated ones in 5 years. With focused initiatives in the digital domain, the company is steering smart growth across all the key parameters to boost mining and operational efficiencies through better management of systems and processes.
Hindustan Zinc’s commitment to sustainable mining operations is a shining example for the industry. By integrating best practices in safety, environment and social responsibility into its operations, the company has not only reduced its environmental footprint but also created a positive impact on the communities where it operates. As a leader in the mining industry, Hindustan Zinc is setting a new standard for responsible mining practices and paving the way for a more sustainable future.