When safety matters

Delivering Ready mix concrete to a depth of 300 mtr was the biggest challenge at a zinc mine near Bhilwara, Rajasthan. Only Volvo FMX could meet the stringent safety standards that the application demanded for safe and reliable operation.
When safety matters

Hindustan Zinc, the largest producer of Zinc in India operates the Rampura Agucha in Rajasthan near Bhilwara, which is also the largest zinc mine in the world that has reached a depth of over 300 meters. There is still a lot more Zinc that can be mined and the company decided to go deeper through underground mining as it isn’t feasible to continue open cast mining further. Today, the depth of the underground mine has reached over 500 Mt.

When Hindustan Zinc decided to go underground, there were a lot of challenges and the primary concern was safety at such depths. The requirement was to strengthen the underground tunnels by shotcreting. Shotcreting involves spraying of a mix of cement, sand and aggregates to provide immediate support to the roof and side walls of a tunnel soon after blasting. With this tunnels could be made safer for miners, by preventing the loose rocks from falling and damaging equipment and creating hazards for people. There are more than a 1000 people who work underground and being responsible for their safety is of prime concern. This process involves transportation of Ready Mix Concrete to the depth of over 300 Mts, from where it had to be further delivered to a network of tunnels of the underground mine through a shaft. The concrete then had to be further transported by special underground concrete carriers to the new tunnels for shotcreting.

This complex operation is unique because in a typical mining operation, the trucks go empty to the mining pits and carry load of overburden or ore to the stock or dump yard. Hindustan Zinc operates the mines, and has very strict safety norms for the concrete transportation.

The safety norms are so strict that most of the truck operators or trucks available in India couldn’t qualify. Prism Johnson Limited RMC (India) Division, finally met the stringent norms and got the contract to set up the RMC plant and supply concrete to the shaft location at the mining pit. Prism RMC after much R&D zeroed in on the Volvo FMX chassis which not only met, but also surpassed the safety norms and operational requirement, thanks to the advanced features that is characteristic of the truck.

A first-of-its-kind operation for Volvo FMX in India Volvo FMX, being a premium segment truck compared to the other truck chassis available in India, was the unanimous choice for the first of its kind transit mixer on an 8x4 chassis. It’s a challenging application that demanded the best vehicle in the market. We spoke with Mr. Anand Raj, Senior Executive, Prism Johnson Limited RMC (India) Division, about the application and Volvo’s role in the same. “Terms and conditions of these mines were so stringent, that the only other option was a specialized transit mixer, which is made in Europe and was not financially viable. Volvo turned out to be a more effective solution with all the necessary features. Volvo’s Cooling System, Superior Brakes, Automatic Fire Suppression System and High Power Engine with the best-in-class reliability were the key parameters for selection.”

“Volvo has been a right choice for us thanks to its higher load carrying capacity on the slopes going down to 300 Mtr at a slow speed, assisted by highly effective braking, which is the main reason for Volvo’s success.” Prism RMC has over 100 concrete mixing units across the country and the unit at Hindustan Zinc has been recognized as the safest plant among the Prism Johnson RMC units in India and this year, the team is more than confident to win the Safety Award for the third time in a row, with the Volvo Trucks in their fleet.

How things fell in place Mr. Jagdish Gurjar was supplying the labour to Prism RMC when the Hindustan Zinc contract was awarded. He was asked to provide transit mixers on a Volvo Chassis. Mr. Jagdish saw the opportunity and decided to take on the challenge. He acquired three Volvo FMX chassis and got the transit mixers fitted on to them at Bangalore, with the support of Volvo team.

“We handed over the transit mixer to Prism RMC and the performance of the Volvo trucks has been extremely good. It has fulfilled the requirements of safety and productivity.”

The performance of Volvo FMX transit mixers have inspired Mr. Jagdish Gurjar to venture into mining transportation segment, as he feels he has found a true partner to match his ambitions.

“Terms and conditions of these mines were very stringent. Volvo’s Cooling System, Superior Brakes, Automatic Fire Separation and High Power Engine with the best-in-class reliability were the key parameters for selection.”

“The performance of the Volvo trucks has been extremely good. It has fulfilled the requirements of safety and productivity.”