(All the GRI EN indicators cover all operating units of HZL.)
Being in the metals and mining sector, our business is closely interlinked with the natural ecosystem of the region where it operates. We reckon the impacts our mining and smelting operations have on the environment and we are also aware of the dependencies of our business on the natural resources.
At HZL, our policies and practices are not just limited to conserving the natural resources, we are also focussed on enhancing the quality of the natural environment of the region where we operate.
Every project at HZL undergoes a thorough Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for environmental clearance. The mitigation plans are put in place for countering any potential impacts of the planned projects. Based on the impact assessment study, an environmental management plan is made which is revisited at regular intervals and appropriate corrective measures are taken. During the reporting period, we received no significant fines and no reports of non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations across our operations.
For the ongoing operations, we follow an internationally recognised management standard, ISO 14001. We have also adopted an international standard, ISO 50001 for managing energy at three of our units at Sindesar Khurd Mines (SKM), Pantnagar metal plant and Rajpura Dariba Mine.
Our environmental management practices are focussed on the following issues and we have taken several measures for addressing these issues. We set targets for each of these focus areas and direct our efforts towards implementing management systems and processes, adopting appropriate technologies and improving existing processes.
We acknowledge that water, although a renewable resource, is significantly scarce in the regions where we operate. As freshwater resources are constantly depleting, we have adopted a multi-pronged approach to manage water resources.
Minimising the use of water in operations
Increasing the use of recycled water
Developing rainwater harvesting systems to replenish ground water sources that we share with our communities
Our water management policy directs our actions on water management.
With a commitment for zero effluent discharge, the water management practices at HZL include:
Reducing consumption at source
Our operations are highly dependent on water and hence it is important that water consumption at source is minimised. Moreover, it is important to minimise the freshwater used. For reducing process-related water consumption, we have improvised several procedures and have modified technologies for the same.
Some of these process modifications include:
Measuring and managing water efficiently
By monitoring and measuring water consumption, any leaks or wastage in the process can be identified and managed.
Some of the key steps for better measurement and management of water are:
Zero effluent discharge operations
All our operation sites maintain ‘zero effluent discharge’. For achieving zero effluent discharge, we have installed reverse osmosis (RO) plant and multiple effect evaporator. Additionally, we focus on increasing use of recycled water by installing integrated effluent treatment plants.
Waste water recycled
As our operations are located in water-stressed regions, we carry out risk analysis to identify operations where water is a critical issue. This enables us to reduce our impact on water stressed areas and identify different sources of water. For this, we engage with a team of external experts every year and water-stressed areas are classified based on WRI’s Aqueduct tools.
HZL is committed to stormwater management and efforts are in place to reduce runoff of rainwater and the improvement of water quality. Stormwater collection pond is constructed at all sites to collect rainwater runoff and treated in ETP for reuse. We adopt rainwater harvesting not only at our operations but at nearby communities as well.
Total water consumption
Specific water consumption
Increase in specific water has been observed due to variance in metal production and increase in the use of STP treated water but freshwater intake has reduced
The metals and mining industry is energy intensive. Being a leading player in the sector, we have been proactive in adopting many practices for energy efficiency that are recognised as industry benchmarks. While we have adopted internationally recognised energy management standard ISO 50001 at three of our operating sites Sindesar Khurd Mines, Pantnagar metal plant and Rajpura Dariba Mine, we continuously focus on reducing overall energy consumption, improving energy, efficiency and using green energy which in the long run help mitigate climate change.
Some of the key initiatives for reducing energy consumption are:
Specific energy consumption
Adopting green energy
HZL is also registering these projects at ‘Gold Standard’, the most rigorous certification standard globally for carbon offset projects supported by WWF.
HZL has made significant investment in green energy aggregating to 346.82 MW to reduce greenhouse gas emission and carbon footprint.
For our captive use, we commissioned a 22 MW solar power project on our waste dumps at Rampura Agucha taking the total to 38.9 MW. All solar power projects have been installed on land that otherwise had no possible use at Rajpura Dariba Mine and Debari Zinc Smelter. The green power generated has reduced carbon footprint by 66,049 MT of CO2 emission per annum. In addition, there is 34.4 MW of power capacity through waste heat recovery from roasters and steam turbo generator of which 9.4 MW/Waste Heat Recovery Boiler project is registered under Clean Development Mechanism, along with 21 TPH Low Calorific Value boilers for steam generation project.
We are planning to further enhance our solar energy footprint by another 35 MW in the coming year. This includes a 1 MW floating solar power project at a captive dam near Chanderiya, which will not only eliminate 5 acres of land usage, but also reduce water evaporation in a water stressed region. After completion of Fumer Project, it will generate 21 MW through waste heat recovery boiler, out of which 11 MW will be used in running the Fumer project and rest will be utilised for other operations or will be available for state grid.
Projects in pipeline
HZL is committed to reduce absolute Scopes 1 and 2
GHG emissions 14% by 2026 from a 2016 base-year. We are also committed to reduce absolute Scope 3
GHG emissions 20% by 2026 from a FY 2017 base-year
The 4 MW solar power project installed by HZL at Rajpura Dariba Mine is the first such project in the district of Rajsamand in Rajasthan. A 12 MW project installed at Debari Zinc Smelter is largest solar energy project in the district of Udaipur and 22 MW project installed at Rampura Agucha Mine is also the largest solar energy project in the district of Bhilwara. All the projects are installed on waste land, where no other activity could be done.
Countering climate change
With our commitment to optimise energy consumption, diversify our energy portfolio and invest in newer technologies, we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint.
At HZL, we constantly invest in newer technologies that foster energy conservation. We participate in the Carbon Disclosure Programme (CDP), which calculates and reports Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventory within a threefold scope as defined under the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and World Resource Institute GHG protocols. We are also committed to a science-based target initiative to set GHG emission reduction benchmarks, which are in harmony with climate science.
We have proactively implemented systems and procedures to address the concerns of our local communities and comply with our environmental licence conditions. Through advanced measurement, mitigation and management strategies, we continue eliminating any potential impacts on air quality caused by our operational activities.
To ensure that emissions generated from our activities is minimised, we have implemented a range of management procedures and controls including:
For regular air quality and meteorological monitoring both in core and buffer zones, HZL has installed online emission monitoring systems connected directly to the servers of Pollution Control Board.
(Million MT CO2e)
(Million MT CO2e)
(Million MT CO2e)
(Scope-1 and Scope-2)
Our approach to ‘waste to wealth’
We follow the principle of reducing waste generation at source and recovering and recycling wherever possible. We have rigorous waste management systems in line with our waste management guidelines to dispose hazardous and non-hazardous waste while preventing environmental contamination.
We have a ‘Waste to Wealth’ committee that explores opportunities to generate wealth from waste and achieve primary objectives of reduction of waste generation, conversion of residue material to saleable product and reduction of waste to landfills.
Jarosite and Jarofix are waste materials produced during the hydrometallurgical extraction processes at all three lead-zinc smelters Dariba, Debari and Chanderiya. Slag from the Imperial Smelting Furnace (ISF) is generated at Chanderiya during the refining process, while slag from the Fuming Furnace (FF) is produced at Dariba. Moore cake treatment plant slag is generated and stored at Debari. Large quantities of Jarosite and Jarofix are stored on site, causing risk to the environment and expanding the waste footprint of the organisation. Slag from pyro-metallurgical process compounds this problem.
In order to reduce the waste footprint of the organisation, various studies were carried out in relation to slag and its utility in cement and road construction. ISF and FF slags find use in the road and cement industry. Similar studies were also carried out in relation to Jarosite, which resulted in a positive turn and it was approved by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for 1% utilisation in the cement industry. Jarofix was found to be suitable for road construction projects and as per approvals from Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board Indian Road Congress (IRC), Jarofix is being utilised in highway construction projects.
These efforts have been instrumental in rationalising the waste footprint of HZL, creating more space within the previously occupied areas. We have also been able to dispatch high quantity materials to road construction and cement industries.
We are continuously focussing on best practices for void management in our underground mines where we have doubled paste fill plant capacity in FY 2019 from 5.5 MTPA in December 2017 and will continue to add capacity. Good void management practices maximise the use of waste generated underground along with tailings from the mill and fly ash from CPPs.
We are also focussing on setting up paver block units, which can use slag, fly ash, bottom ash and Jarosite. We use large amounts of paver blocks in our operations. We are gainfully utilising a significant amount of these waste materials to cement and road construction industries.
Among the many initiatives we undertook to manage wastes, some noteworthy steps have been:
Zinc Smelter Debari recovers zinc from process residue waste and produces a non-hazardous solid waste called Waelz Kiln (WK) Slag generated at high temperature of over 1,000 °C., which is stored in slag yards. To gainfully utilise this slag, studies were done to establish its usage as sub-grade filling material for various construction activities, which has now been accredited by Indian Road Congress. To use this slag on a large scale, HZL started exploring the possibility of its usage in construction of national highways. Through continuous engagement with National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and establishing lab scale testing, a breakthrough was achieved when NHAI agreed to use WK slag for sub-grade filling purpose after testing the strength and stability of road constructed with this slag. So far, ~57,000 MT of WK slag has been utilised in the construction of six-lane NH 27 and the usage is still continuing.
This initiative has not only helped in reusing waste but has also contributed to the preservation of natural ecosystem, which would have been hampered by NHAI’s soil excavation activities.
Process technology upgradation in Leaching
Plant at CLZS
Our conversion process in leaching plants allows impurities to recycle back into the system and loss of zinc metal in Jarosite with 3% zinc content. Through use of internal resources involving no additional equipment, leaching plant in one hydro-metallurgical smelter was modified by eliminating weak acid leaching and incorporating a process called Jarosite acid wash. This results in improved quality of zinc sulphate purified solution with extremely low impurity level and reduction in total zinc lost through Jarosite cake.
Post this modification, current efficiency in cell house of
smelter has improved to ~90% from 88% and total zinc loss
in Jarosite is reduced to ~2.5% leading to saving of about
` 22 Crore per annum at current LME level, along with reduction in specific energy consumption. With further improvements in automation for finer control of process parameters, current efficiency of more than 92% can be achieved which will increase savings by another `10 Crore per annum.
This same process improvement is planned to be replicated at other smelters and total potential savings from this initiative will be about ` 100 Crore per annum.
HZL is focussed towards generating wealth from waste. We have set up an ancillary plant in Dariba 5 years ago. The plant has helped in recovering value from waste and manufactures copper sulphate which is required for ore beneficiation at mines. A second ancillary unit is under construction at Chanderiya Lead Zinc Smelter premise which will also convert waste to consumable or saleable products.
After successful operation of ‘waste to wealth’ ancillary plant at DSC, a new ancillary unit has commenced construction at CLZS to treat all smelting process residue. The plant commissioning is expected in December 2019. The total cost of the project is ` 9.5 Crore and the payback for the project to be attained in 14 months. With the installation of this plant the expected cost savings in the range of ` 50-70 Crore per annum.
The waste material generated in metric tonnes per annum i.e. zinc oxide, antimony dross/dust (260), enrichment cake (527), purification cake (2997) and cadmium sponge (20)which be an input for the ancillary plant and will be producing value-added products such as zinc sulphate solution, antimony trioxide, cobalt filter cake, copper matte, lead bullion, lead-enriched cake and copper sulphate. This will help in reduction of our waste footprint and leap towards the sustainable environment.
Aiming to recover valuable metal lost
in zinc residue
HZL's first zinc Fumer project with a waste processing capacity of 160,000 MT per annum is expected to commission in FY 2020. The Fumer will lead to annual recovery of valuable metals including 32 MT of silver and 6,200 MT of zinc and lead from zinc residue, which otherwise would be wasted in Jarofix. This initiative will help move towards the goal of zero solid waste to landfill and saving one hectare of land per annum.
In response to recent highprofile tailings dam failures in the world, HZL initiated review of tailings storage facility standards, guidelines and risks and subsequently tailing management policy was rolled out during the year. Dam break stability studies are under progress in coordination with global experts. Tailing Storage Facility (TSF) community has been formed for driving actions to prevent similar incidents and ensure that best practices are implemented at all mining locations.
At HZL we have three active tailing storage facilities and all sites have a dedicated TSF manager and TSF committee consisting of a design engineer, operations, construction and environmental staff. All TSFs, as well as associated pipeline and pumping infrastructure, are subject to regular audit as well as regular inspection. In addition to tailing management policy, we also have organisation wide tailing management standard, which provides approach, methodology and guidance on tailings management.
Following actions were initiated by TSF community:
* Jarosite is now included in non-hazardous waste
Non‑hazardous is not including tailing and overburden
For every project we conduct a detailed Environmental, Social Impact Assessment, of which biodiversity risk assessment is an integral part. We then develop a Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) to mitigate the identified risks.
Our specific biodiversity conservation efforts are not just based on the applicable regulations; we go beyond regulations in protecting biodiversity. We have engaged a third party for carrying out extensive study on biodiversity at all our units. Based on the initial biodiversity risk screening, we have developed a unique and exclusive BMP for all our operations. Our dedicated Biodiversity Policy and Management Standard advice how disruption to wildlife should be avoided, minimised or compensated for, from project scoping to site closure and beyond. Our aim is to achieve a minimum of No Net Loss (NNL) of biodiversity and Net Positive Gain (NPG) of biodiversity (in case any critical habitat is present) at all our operations.
Mapping biodiversity impacts and risks
of our operations
Geared with our commitment to protect the environment, we have reviewed all our operations to identify their proximity to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) areas, important bird areas and key biodiversity hot spots. We conducted a preliminary analysis of the type of risks associated to the existent biodiversity in the vicinity of our operations. We used the mapping tool Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT), for the screening process and categorised our operations as high/medium/ low as per the associated risk category. The study confirmed that most of our operations did not pose any threat to their associated biodiversity.
During the year, Natural Capital Externalities Evaluation for impact on natural capital was conducted through CII at Dariba Smelting Complex, Chanderiya Lead-Zinc Smelter and all five mines. The objective of the assessment was to develop a baseline for natural capital impacts from operations and to track performance annually.
Biodiversity enhancement beyond boundaries
We take biodiversity preservation and enhancement initiatives both in our operations and beyond our boundaries in other locations. During FY 2016, we partnered with Udaipur Urban Improvement Trust for regeneration of two hills in the city- Ratnagiri and Kalimagri. During FY 2019, ~5000 trees were planted during the ‘Van Mahotsav’ on 17.91 acres of barren land of Ratnagiri and also on ~12 Ha. at Kalimagri. We also supported the forest department in the development of the biodiversity park in Udaipur.
We have planted more than 1.5 Million plants around our operations
During the year, 155,000 saplings were planted to increase flora density in the areas around our operations. Peacock conservation park, endangered plant nursery, butterfly garden, medicinal park, tree inventorisation, plantation on Kalimagri and Ratnagiri are few of the key projects for biodiversity management.
We planted ~60,000 saplings at Chanderiya for development of green area leading to the prestigious ‘Van Wordhak Prohatsan’ award from District Forest Department Chittorgarh.
Hindustan Zinc Jyotish Vatika was established at Debari Zinc Smelter. It comprises 27 nakshtra, 12 rashis and 9 grahas. This initiative is taken in line with our biodiversity management policy to conserve medicinal plants. Vatika labelled with a board, shows colours, plants and planets of each nakshtra and rashi.
Protecting and enhancing biodiversity is an integral part of HZL’s commitment to sustainable development. We have a separate policy on biodiversity and we stay committed to prevent risk on biodiversity throughout our business. To comply the policy, we developed butterfly-cum-rose garden in CPP Unit at CLZS as Implementation of Biodiversity Management Plan.
HZL, in joint agreement with Forest Department Udaipur, has conducted plant distribution programme to make Udaipur Green City. In this programme, various 20,000 fruit bearing and ornamental plants were distributed to various organisations and institutes like ‘Pukar Foundation’, Govt. and Private Schools, affiliated colleges of MLSU Udaipur, Rama Phosphate, IIM Udaipur and Udaipur Military cantonment.