A mix of open-cast and underground mining operations in Odisha's Jajpur and Keonjhar Districts provide about 0.5 million tonnes of chrome ore annually which caters to our in-house requirement in line with our philosophy of value addition. A captive coal block being developed by Utkal Coal Limited – an SPV in which IMFA has a 74% stake – will become operational soon thus adding further competitive strength to our business model.
Starting with a small mine which catered to a fraction of our requirement, we today have mining rights to 5 chrome ore mines in Odisha's Jajpur and Kenjhar Districts with combined reserves of approximately 21 million tonnes. Sukinda and Mahagiri Chromite Mines in the famous Sukinda Valley – which accounts for more than 90% of India's total chrome ore reserves – account for the bulk of the resources under our control with Nuasahi, Chingudipal and Bangur accounting for the rest.
While initially our mines were all open-cast operations, we have now progressed to underground mining which is more eco-friendly and efficient. In fact, we were the first to undertake developmental activity for starting underground mining in Sukinda Valley and this pioneering effort will enable us to maximise recovery of resources while minimising the load on the environment.