The mine, which is estimated to have reserves of 15.5 million tons, was allocated to the company in February following bidding process. The company offered a price of Rs3,025 per ton.

Balco CEO and whole time director Ramesh Nair said: "’Chotia is integral to Balco’s strategy. It will add to our coal security by a reasonable margin

"Aluminium production is a power intensive process and our captive power plants need to source coal at viable rates. The Chotia Mine with its capacity of one million ton per annum will directly feed our captive power plants, besides imports and SECL through auction. "

Companies from the regulated as well as the non-regulated sector have been awarded mines through the transparent bidding process, ensuring a level-playing field for companies.

Nair added: "It also highlights the Government’s focus to boost investment and solve the existing problems in the power sector."

The company expects to mine 300,000 tons of coal from the Chotia mine during FY2016.

Bharat Aluminium plans to maintain business sustainability by supplying coal continuously through the Chotia Mine along with optimization of capex and opex.

Vedanta, which has operations in India, South Africa, Namibia, Ireland, Australia, Liberia and Sri Lanka, is primarily engaged in exploring and processing minerals and oil and gas.

Image: Bharat Aluminium plans to mine 3 lakh tons of coal from the Chotia mine during FY2016. Photo: courtesy of franky242/