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Aiming to be No. 1 in safety

India’s Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL), the world’s leading zinc producer, has a big ambition: They want to become No. 1 in the world when it comes to safety.

The biggest zinc mine in the world is the Rampura Agucha mine. The mine has been in production since 1990 and employs more than 2,500 people. Beyond ensuring that production runs as it should, the mine’s top priority is strengthening its profile when it comes to Environment, Health and Safety (EHS). An important part of this initiative involves working with partners that have a strong commitment to EHS.

“Sandvik brings the best in safety practices from around the world,” says John Palmer, HZL General Engineering Manager, Rampura Agucha. “We envision that the company will be a part of our team by bringing in good maintenance practices and also good safety features on equipment.”

Sandvik has supplied more than a dozen pieces of equipment to Rampura Agucha, including drills, underground loaders and trucks. The equipment has helped transform the mine into a modern and safe mechanized operation.

“Sandvik equipment holds a very high standard, and that’s why we chose this equipment,” Palmer says. “The loaders we are using have the latest features. They have the ability to be used remotely, which means that we can retrieve loaders in breakdown in a safe manner.”

Abhay Kumar Nalwaya, Associate Vice President, Projects, Rampura Agucha underground mine, is equally enthusiastic about the equipment’s safety features, especially the trucks’ park-brake system.

”If the engine fails or anything goes wrong, the truck stops,” he says. ”It will not move. We really appreciate this safety feature.”

L.S. Shekhawat, Chief Operating Officer HZL, is very happy with the safety record of Sandvik overall, saying the company is in line with the site’s requirements. ”We’re learning a lot from Sandvik and trying to implement their global standards on our site,” he says. Nalwaya agrees, saying there have not been any recent incidents, thanks to good practices followed by the Sandvik team at the mine.

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