MARCHING TOWARDS HIGHER PRODUCTION AND LOWER COST IN HINDUSTAN ZINC LTD. UNDERGROUND OPERATIONS

World Mining Congress

Subrata Dutta1, Akhilesh Joshi2 & Ashok Lal3

1 Adviser, Rock mechanics and mine designing

SK Mine & RD Mine, Hindustan Zinc Ltd

mail: subratadutta.hzl@gmail.com, mobile: +91 9414757055/ 9799397754

2Chief Executive Officer

Hindustan Zinc Ltd, VEDANTA

mail: akhilesh.joshi@vedanta.co.in

3Associate Vice President- Central Mine Planning

Hindustan Zinc Ltd, Udaipur, mail: ashok.lal@vedanta.co.in

Sindesar Khurd Mine is situated in Rajasthan, India, and operated by Hindustan Zinc Ltd, under Vedanta Group. The base metal mine is high in reserves of Lead, Zinc and silver and has been producing since 2007 with initial production of 0.3 mtpa. Recently the mine has gained prominence as a base metal underground mine in introduction of latest mining techniques and achieving high production at lowest costs.

The promising Lead-Zinc reserves of Sindesar Khurd Mine (SKM) and high-tech exploration adopted by Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL), (Vedanta Group), raising the reserves and resources from a meager 9 Mt (1997) to 81 Mt (2012), has prompted HZL management to ramp up the mine production from 0.3 mtpa (2006-07) to 2 mtpa by 2013-14 with ambitious plans to reach 3.5mtpa subsequently (presently largest underground metal mine in India).

The complete trackless system underground mine, recently equipped with latest leaky feeder communication system (unique in India), utilize modern drilling, mucking and hauling equipment aided with various utility/service vehicles.

Excavation optimization and quality recovery maximization from the open and post filled stoping methods, continual expert analysis and feedback from International consultants like AMC (Australia) and SRK (UK), and involvement of renowned bodies in management excellence, have lead the mine towards highest productivity and lowest mine operating cost, earning the mine a prominent place in the global base metal industry. The paper deals with how the various challenges in mine planning and designing, mine development, operator skill, equipment introduction and maintenance, expertise availability, provide training and exposure to officials, prompt and effective communication/service, control of ground vibrations, maintain ventilation standards etc are faced in attaining high operational excellence and thus attain a record mine output/man shift (OMS) of 14 ton/man shift with targets to reach 20 ton/man /shift.

Scientific designing using 2D/3D numerical mine-modeling techniques, faster stope sequencing with introduction of paste filling ( first time in India),latest leaky feeder communication system, control ground vibration to stringent standards using electronic delay system, faster raising techniques using raise borers to enhance development and ventilation, cavity scanners to monitor large stope voids, fast shaft sinking at 100 m/month(Chinese expertise) and maintaining adequate ventilation with close softwaremonitoring are some of the highlights discussed in the paper towards achieving the targets.

Keywords: Mines; Mine; Production; Ores; Ore; stope; stopes; Systems;
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