We are a large scale, low-cost U.S.-based producer and exporter of premium met coal operating two highly productive underground mines in Alabama, Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7, that have an estimated annual production capacity of 7.3 million metric tons of coal. We sell a premium met coal product to leading steel manufacturers in Europe and South America. As of December 31, 2018, based on a reserve report prepared by Marshall Miller & Associates, Inc. ("Marshall Miller"), our two operating mines had approximately 108.3 million metric tons of recoverable reserves and, based on a reserve report prepared by Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. ("Stantec"), our undeveloped Blue Creek Energy Mine contained 103.0 million metric tons of recoverable reserves. We strive to produce premium met coal in an efficient, safe and responsible manner, and environmental responsibility and sustainability are key principles in our business strategy.
Our hard coking coal ("HCC"), mined from the Southern Appalachian region of the United States, is characterized by low-to-medium volatile matter ("VM") and high coke strength after reaction ("CSR"). These qualities make our coal ideally suited as a coking coal for the manufacture of steel. As a result of our high quality coal, our realized price has historically approximated the Platts Premium Low Volatility ("LV") Free-On-Board ("FOB") Australia Index price (the "Platts Index"). In contrast, coal produced in the Central Appalachian region of the United States is typically characterized by medium-to-high VM and a CSR that is below the requirements of the Australian Index price.
Our operations utilize longwall mining techniques, which is the most productive coal mining method available, and allows mining at the lowest cost per ton. We are able to utilize longwall mining as a result of the medium to thick coal seams of Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7. Additionally, our operations benefit from a highly competitive initial Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") with the United Mine Workers of America ("UMWA"), which has enabled us to structurally reduce our cash costs.