Vedanta-owned Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) plans to raise its zinc production capacity from 1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 1.5 mtpa through brownfield expansion.

“Zinc will play a key role in India’s growth story. We are looking forward to at least 3-4 per cent growth in the sector and plan to ramp up our production by 50 per cent from 1 mtpa to 1.5 mtpa,” said Priya Agarwal Hebbar, Chairperson of HZL, at the company’s 57th annual general meeting.

During the 2022-23 fiscal, the company achieved production exceeding 1 million tonnes of refined metal. In the initial quarter of the new fiscal, it recorded a metal production of 257 kilotonnes on the back of investing in latest technology for maximum metal recovery and digitisation of mining and smelting operations, said Hebbar.

ESG goals

HZL plans to decrease its reliance on coal by 50 per cent in two years with an aim to enhance its sustainability.

“Today, the Pantnagar Metal Plant is powered entirely by renewable energy, and with our solar and wind projects accounting for 180 MW and 250 MW respectively, HZL will reduce its coal dependency by 50 per cent by 2025,” she said. HZL was the first in the country to introduce battery-operated electric vehicles in underground mining, she added.

The company is aiming to achieve its ESG targets by 2030, ahead of the parent Vedanta Group’s goal set at 2050, added Hebbar.

Women power

The company has 505 women employees, including 109 women engineers, who are breaking the glass ceiling in mining and smelting operations. At HZL, women are working in all key functions right from driving large mining vehicles to operating plants and working night-shifts, she said.

Currently, 19.5 per cent of executive workforce, 35 per cent of management committee and 21 per cent of executive committee comprise women, she added.

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In the first quarter of FY24, HZL’s net profit dropped 36 per cent to ₹1,964 crore against ₹3,092 crore during the corresponding quarter of last year. This decline was attributed to reduced metal prices. The company’s revenue for Q1FY24 dropped 22 per cent to ₹7,282 crore (₹9,387 crore).