The Sukinda Chromite Mines (SCM) is the largest open cast chromite mine in India, comprising 3% of the Country's total chromite lease area. It is a mechanised, open cast mine, and the first mine in Asia to get ISO-9002 certification for its quality systems. Tata Steel's Prospecting Division first brought the occurrence of chromite to light in 1949. Later the mining lease area was vested with the State Government of Odisha in 1953. The present lease holding of Tata Steel in Sukinda covers 406 hectares.
Actual mining in SCM was started on a small scale in December 1960 to meet the requirements of refractory grade chrome ore using manual open cast working. The production was stepped up with increasing demand of refractory grade chromite and thereafter, the production from SCM has increased significantly over the years with every step forward in mechanisation.
During the course of mining, a substantial quality of low-grade ore is generated. In order to conserve scarce chrome ore, Tata Steel set up the largest chrome ore beneficiation plant in India with a designed capacity of 1.08 lakh tpa, within its lease area in the year 1990. This plant has since also been ISO 9002 certified.
Initiatives in Sustainability
Tata Steel oversees the socio-economic development in the peripheral villages of Sukinda in association with the Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS). It has extended health care facilities to nearby villages by providing a mobile clinic and through local health workers trained by the Company's doctors. SCM has been provided with a modern 30-bed hospital including an intensive care unit. The hospital provides medical facilities not only to the employees, but also, to the nearby villagers.
Besides, TSRDS has also contributed towards infrastructure development and agriculture extension, education, sports and cultural activities, women's development, etc. Afforestation is an ongoing programme in and outside the mining lease area. Several initiatives have been taken in order to generate income opportunities in a number of fields.
Facilities provided by Tata Steel Sukinda Chromite Mines include:
Free accommodation, free electricity and free water for the employees.
Schools inside the lease area are given financial aid as well as scholarships for meritorious students.
Parks and gardens have been developed for recreation purposes and free cinema shows are often arranged.
A marketing complex, co-operative society and co-operative credit society exist for the benefit of the employees.
Each year, medical camps including family planning camp, eye camp, etc. are arranged for the employees, their wards and local villagers.