Hindustan Zinc - Engineering a Better Future
- Breaking New Grounds - Leading the path for women in underground mining
- Partners in Nation building - Hindustan Zinc’s engineers ensure 3S (Smart, Safe & Sustainable) in
It is World Engineer’s day on 15 September, and it is a good time to reflect on the importance of the engineer
in our daily lives. We would not have the comforts that we take for granted like a shelter from the elements,
clean running water, or even the ability to read this article, without the effort of engineers.
Hindustan Zinc is especially aware of the need it has for engineers – without engineers and their effort, the
materials that Hindustan Zinc extracts from its mines would not be as easily extracted and refined from its
deposits. Hindustan Zinc also has a list of unique problems that need the finest engineering minds to find
creative solutions – for example, as part of its target to achieve carbon neutrality, it plans to use battery
electric vehicles as part of its mining operations. Traditional battery performance can vary significantly with
temperature extremes, and mines have some of the highest temperatures in summers. Some of the best
engineers designed the idea to address this challenge sustainably through battery electric vehicles in
Hindustan Zinc also takes particular care to not put added stress on the local water
supply, coming up with various water harvesting, conserving, and recycling methods to help mitigate its impact
on the region. It is with great pride that Hindustan Zinc can state that it is one of the top water conserving
companies, and is a Water Positive Company – which is extremely important in states that it operates in like
Rajasthan, which faces a lot of water scarcity. It is the first company to apply the ‘Dry Tailing’ process for the
extraction of zinc from its ore, which allows for more than 80% of the water used in tailings to be recirculated.
It is also thanks to its brilliant engineering minds that HZL has been granted two US patents for sustainability
technologies. One is for manufacturing paver blocks from process waste, which has proven to offer a lower
cost of production while simultaneously conserving natural resources. The other patent is for the method of
production of Potassium Antimony Tartrate (PAT) by utilising Antimony-bearing residues. What’s more, the
method to produce PAT also has a European patent to its name, proving that it is truly a global first for this
method of sustainability technology.
To help develop the pool of engineers it has, Hindustan Zinc has come up with a few different initiatives. It has
the honour of appointing India’s first woman mine manager in the unrestricted category. Sandhya Rasakatla is
now the mine manager of Hindustan Zinc’s Zawarmala Mine. Not only this, another woman, Yogeshwari Rane,
has been appointed as a UG Mine Development Manager. They both are the first women to receive the ‘First
Class Mines Manager’ certificate of competency in the Unrestricted category.
In a bid to keep an eye on the future and develop talent based on merit, HZL has also been running the ‘Unchi
Udaan’ project, which offers students from government schools the opportunity to gain admission into
engineering institutions of national repute. This offers students the confidence and ability to apply for courses
in institutions that they otherwise would think beyond their capabilities.
Hindustan Zinc faces a lot of challenges as a mining company to work towards its 2025 sustainability goals,
which are aligned with UN Sustainability Global Goals. They include reducing GHG emissions, passing on
sustainability standards to suppliers, reducing dependency on freshwater, and moving towards zero waste to
All of this will be achievable with profitability only because of the engineering capability that
Hindustan Zinc has, and the solutions the engineers work towards and come up with. Hindustan Zinc believes
that just like in mining operations, a precious deposit can be found in the most unexpected place – but the
search is made a lot easier thanks to the capable engineers it has in its ranks.