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Vedanta Group Company Hindustan Zinc has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Epiroc Rock Drills, advancing a push for zero-emission and sustainable mining with the introduction of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in underground mining.

Hindustan Zinc will become the first mining company in India to unveil electric vehicles in underground mines.

By introducing BEVs in mines, the company will be able to reduce carbon emissions and enable environmentally friendly mine operations.

Hindustan Zinc CEO Arun Misra said: “At Hindustan Zinc, we are committed to smart, safe and sustainable operations and we believe that as a leader it is incumbent on us to be catalysts for transformation towards adopting sustainability driven business solutions.

“This partnership with Epiroc fortifies our commitment to green and responsible mining and takes us furthers in the right direction to achieve carbon neutrality, in line with our emission reduction Sustainability Development Goal for 2025.”

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Going forward, the partnership will allow a fleet of highly efficient electric powered equipment that will replace diesel-fuelled equipment and reduce carbon emissions.

Epiroc India managing director Jerry Andersson said: “We showcase the BEV in underground mining with the broadest offerings and a mission to deliver the world’s greenest machines.

“Our memorandum with Hindustan Zinc is a step on our mutual journey for a safer and more sustainable mining operation to come.”

Hindustan Zinc and Epiroc share the values of safety, sustainability, innovation as well as technology in running operations.

The company is an integrated producer of zinc-lead and silver and has mines, smelting complexes in Udaipur, the Indian state of Rajasthan.

In May last year, Epiroc secured a large equipment and service contract from Codelco for use at its Chuquicamata mine in northern Chile.