The Silicon Review
Metal or specifically metals and mining are the silent rivers that run throughout any country’s economy. History is an example of how the fortunes of many countries have turned overnight with the discovery of valuable metals and resources.
The significance of metals in our everyday lives is indisputable. Since metals combine performance with affordability, they’re found in almost all consumer goods. We use metals in everything from cosmetics to batteries, from wind turbines to diabetes test strips, cancer treatments to car exhaust catalysts. Furthermore, our body needs metals such as Zinc, Iron, Copper and many more to function properly.
Headquartered in the City of Lakes —Udaipur, Rajasthan, Hindustan Zinc is India’s only and one of the world’s largest integrated producers of Zinc, Lead and Silver.
A subsidiary of Vedanta Group, Hindustan Zinc is the second largest Zinc producer in the world and extraordinarily, it is also one of the lowest cost Zinc producers in the world.
Hindustan Zinc: We all have Zinc in our Lives
Hindustan Zinc’s various mines and smelting complexes are located in places around Udaipur, such as Zawar, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kayad and Chittorgarh. In fact, some of the richest ore bodies are found in the five Zinc-Lead mines owned by Hindustan Zinc spread across Rajasthan. The Company also has its Silver Refinery at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand.
Acclaimed as the ‘Zinc of India’, the company has provided Zinc sufficiency to India and represents India in the global Zinc, Lead, and Silver market. As a market leader, Hindustan Zinc governs about 85% of growing Zinc market in India and produces almost 100% of India’s integrated Silver.
With an ambition to grow and expand, the sky is the limit for the company. Since disinvested in 2002, Hindustan Zinc has invested over USD 3 Billion towards its 4 phases of expansion programs to reach to the current metal production capacity of 1 million tonne per annum and expand the capacity to 1.2 million tonnes by FY 2020 and eventually 1.5 million tonnes in the next 5 years. Hindustan Zinc has a mine life of more than 25 years with reserves & resources of 411.3 million MT base, post-depletion.
Hindustan Zinc mines are also expanding enormously. The company’s two shafts, one each at Rampura Agucha and Sindesar Khurd Mines, are all set to be commissioned in FY 2019. The company is also setting-up 2 new mills, at Zawar Mines and Sindesar Khurd Mine, with a joint capacity of 3 million tonnes of ore-treatment.
After the commissioning of new mills, the ore treatment capacity will increase to 17.7 million tonnes from the current 14.7 million tonnes per annum. Both the new mills are expected to start production in FY 2019.
To increase metal production through the recovery process, Hindustan Zinc is also putting-up three Fumer Plants out of which one is likely to be commissioned within the FY 2019. This will help in the recovery of metals - particularly Lead and Silver.
Driven by the Mission to Galvanize Indian Economy
It is estimated that up to 4% of the world’s GDP is lost through corrosion each year - a fact that makes lifecycle costs a key consideration in many modern construction projects.
Galvanizing is often considered as the most environmentally-friendly finishing process available to prevent corrosion. Galvanized steel has a strong protective coating of Zinc that has a metallurgical bond to it. This makes galvanizing a corrosion protection solution for steel that is intended to have a long service life which is easily inspected and self-maintaining.
Galvanized products, once constructed or installed, can also be removed, re-galvanized and re-used. They are also easily recycled with steel scrap in the steel production process.
CEO of Hindustan Zinc, Sunil Duggal reveals his thoughts on the importance of galvanization.
“Awareness is the key to build a galvanized Indian economy. People do not understand the difference between ‘steel’ and ‘galvanized steel’. Galvanized steel increases the life of steel and gives life to not just industrial sectors but also household sector. Galvanization is a layer of protection to safeguard steel from rusting. Globally people understand that use of galvanized rebars can increase the life of their houses that can withstand many risks. Infrastructure at coastal areas is at the maximum risk due to humidity and constantly changing climate. Galvanized rebars protect pillars and hold construction. Galvanization of steel used in car body enhances the life of vehicle multi-fold – your recurring expenditure on repairs decreases and your safety increases. The new mega infrastructure development that is happening in India today, with the use of steel, should only use galvanized steel for strength and long life.”
Citing Bandra-Worli Sea Link as an example, Sunil Duggal explains, “Infrastructure like bridges are extremely vulnerable to rust and corrosion due to their proximity to marine salts and moisture. One of the rust prevention methods for these structures is to provide a barrier coating by galvanization, galvanization by Zinc.”
During the decade-long construction of the bridge, several countries like Egypt, China, Canada, Switzerland, Britain, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Serbia lent their valuable advice to our country and stressed on the magnitude of using galvanized steel.
Zinc, through galvanization process, protects steel from rusting that enhances the lives of buildings, houses, bridges, railways, ships, defense equipment, highways, and airstrips to name prominently, though there are a number of other usages of Zinc that protect steel from rusting.
“Coastal salts can create a corrosive environment for any infrastructure across the world, the reason being humid and saline climate. When steel reinforcement corrodes, the corroded product occupies more than three times the volume of the original steel, exerting great disruptive tensile stress on the surrounding concrete, leading to further cracking, more weather access and further corrosion. According to the American Institute of Architects, it is essential to use hot dip galvanized steel, to make such coastal infrastructure decay resistant,” he further elaborates.
Hindustan Zinc ranked 1st in ‘Environment’ and overall 5th globally in Metal & Mining Sector in Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2018
Hindustan Zinc, popularly known as Zinc of India competed with 58 metals & mining majors including Newmont Mining, Teck Resources, Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold, Anglo Gold Ashanti etc. and emerged as the top ranking company in ‘Environment’ and overall 5th globally in Metal & Mining Sector in Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2018.
“Sustainability has always been a core value of Hindustan Zinc which is why the Company has integrated the best global environment friendly technologies in its operations. We are very glad to be recognised with this ranking in Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which strengthens our commitment towards zero harm to the environment”, says Sunil Duggal.
At Hindustan Zinc, Environmental Sustainability Takes Centre Stage
Global climate change is one of the most important concerns for world governments and is a major research subject for the scientific international community with the participation of multi and interdisciplinary groups. Two fundamental reports – the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and N. Stern, The Economics of Climate Change, 2007 Cambridge University Press, UK, outlines parameters that will affect infrastructure, temperature change, atmospheric moisture change, sea level rise, wind, desertification, pollution and inclusive biological infestation.
Temperature change is gradually resulting in an extreme climate, changing the periodicity of climate cycles. Such extreme climate events are bringing detrimental effect by way of corrosion and also bio-deterioration. This is also damaging both metallic and non-metallic materials used in infrastructure construction.
Many studies have elaborated the impact on structures due to global warming and their exposure to corrosion.
In India, there are various environmental laws for environment protection. Many Acts have been passed in Parliament. However, what about the damage to the environment and economy through rusting and corrosion?
With a heavy heart, Sunil Duggal recalls the massive cloudburst that happened in Uttarakhand in 2013. “I remember in the year 2013, due to cloudbursts in the state of Uttarakhand, the flash floods in river Ganga and landslides washed away thousands of lives. The Kedarnath Bridge at Sonprayag was also washed out due to heavy floods. The death toll and destruction was so massive that it left the region devastated. Subsequently, a Bailey bridge (a portable, pre-fabricated, truss bridge) was built by the Border Roads Organisation, limiting the traffic to one way and a maximum load of 12 tonnes at the most. But June 2015 saw more floods and this bridge was also washed away.”
Since the Temple is 3500 feet above sea level and is situated in a challenging topography, the construction of a stronger flawless bridge required more than 3 years to build. Further, since the bridge was to be built in such difficult conditions, it would have been impossible to regularly protect or maintain. It was finally decided that the new bridge has to be made of galvanized steel to ensure that it does not collapse.
The galvanized bridge was shipped in containers from the USA, completed and became operational in an incredible 45 days. In the new bridge, all the panel chords, diagonals, verticals, raker, reinforcing cords along with all the structural beam members and flooring were hot dip galvanized. This bridge could have been ‘Made in India.’
Hindustan Zinc has been consistently working towards safety, protection of the environment, conservation of energy and water, and building infrastructure. It was the only Indian mining company to appear in Global Sustainability Yearbook 2018.
Hindustan Zinc recently topped the Metal & Mining sector globally in the Environment category in Dow Jones Sustainability Index. The Company was ranked overall 5th globally by Dow Jones Sustainability Index in the metals and mining sector. Hindustan Zinc competed with 58 metals & mining majors including Teck Resources, Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold, Anglo Gold Ashanti etc.
On being awarded the Dow Jones Sustainability Ranking, the CEO of Hindustan Zinc Sunil Duggal said, “Sustainability has always been a core value of Hindustan Zinc which is why the Company has integrated the best global environment friendly technologies in its operations. We are very glad to be awarded with this ranking in Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which strengthens our commitment towards zero harm to the environment.”
The Company has a strong focus on sustainability as well as on conservation of water and energy and all the plants operate on zero-discharge and moving steadily to zero-waste. The most friendly global environment technology has helped Hindustan Zinc to become one of the most admired Zinc Company in the world.
Ask and You Shall Receive: Sunil Duggal Urges Indian Consumers to Demand Galvanized Steel
Throwing some light on the market scenario, Sunil Duggal said, “Globally the top brands in cars started galvanizing various parts of the cars including the body to fight corrosion issues. This brought safety to the cars and protection to the environment and strengthened the economy. By 1987, what became standard was a 10-year perforation and five-year cosmetic warranty from all the North American, European and Japanese automakers for vehicles sold in the North American market. Indian car manufacturers use about 30% galvanized steel for the domestic market. However, the same Indian car manufacturers use over 70% galvanized steel for the same models which they export to markets in Europe, Asia, and Africa, produced from the same stamping and assembly facilities.”
Mr. Duggal believes that “Indian consumers are not getting it, because they are not demanding for it. It is their direct loss.”
The global galvanized steel market for the industrial sector was valued at around 56 million tonnes in 2015 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of about 5% by 2020.
The irony is that India is producing about 100 million tonnes of steel but surprisingly less than 10% is galvanized, which is just about 8 million tonnes. On the other hand, we are importing 1.44 million tonnes of galvanized steel from China, Korea, and Japan. Meaning, we import galvanized steel from other countries instead of increasing the production of galvanized steel within our country.
He finally says, “Galvanization of steel will add to Make in India and Sustain in India.”
“We might be making over-bridges, railways bridges, roads, high-rise buildings, railway tracks, fish plates, metros, electricity networks, ships, and automobiles, and using millions of tonnes of steel. But for how many years are we making them sustain is a point of contention. If our vision is long term, then the infrastructure also needs to sustain even longer.”
“It is not about the cost of galvanization that the country and the people have to bear, it is the investment for our safety and growth, as an individual and as a nation. It is about galvanization of the economy for future growth and prosperity,” Mr. Duggal concludes.
Sunil Duggal, CEO: Mr. Sunil Duggal joined the Company in August 2010 and is driving Hindustan Zinc to achieve the metal production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes and 1500 tonnes of silver within a span of 5 years. It is in his tenure that Hindustan Zinc has become a fully underground mining company and has been ranked 1st in Environment and 5th overall in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index amongst mining and metal companies globally.
In addition to being the CEO of Hindustan Zinc, Mr. Sunil Duggal is also President of FIMI (Federation of Indian Mineral Industries), an all-India apex body which promotes the interests of mineral-based industries. Mr. Duggal is also currently serving as the Vice Chairman of International Zinc Association, Co-Chair – FICCI Non-Ferrous Metals Committee 2018 and President – Indian Lead Zinc Development Association. He has also been Co-Chair of CII National Committee on Mining for 2017-18 and Chairman of Skill Council for Mining Sector.
Mr. Duggal also leads Vedanta Base Metals Group along with being the Chairman of the Vedanta Ethics Committee and anchoring Vedanta HSE Council. With an extensive experience of 34 years, he has embedded a strong safety culture in the Company and has adopted best-in-class mining and smelting techniques, state of art environment-friendly technologies, mechanization, digitalization and automation of operational activities into the business.
An electrical engineering graduate, Mr. Duggal is an Alumni of IMD, Lausanne - Switzerland, and IIM Calcutta.