Top 5 coal mines in the world

Top 5 coal mines in the world

North Antelope Rochelle, US

North Antelope

PaebodyEnegry’s North Antelope Rochelle Coal Mine is the world’s largest coal reserve and the second largest coal mining operation in the US. The surface mining operation is located in Wyoming in the United States. In 2012 the property was estimated to contain more than 2.3 billion tonnes of recoverable coal.

The mine located in Campbell County, Wyoming, about 65 miles south of Gillette produces one of the cleanest Coals in the country through 3 open pits in two mine sites. The North Antelope, which commenced operation in 1983, and Rochelle, which followed in 1985. The two currently produce about 107-110m tonnes per annum combined.

North Antelope Rochelle coal mine in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, US, is currently the world’s largest coal mine by reserve. The mine was estimated to contain more than 2.3 billion tonnes of recoverable coal as of December 2012.

The operation currently employs about 1300 staff directly with offices in most major cities across the world.

Haerwusu, China


At 1.7 billion tonnes coal reserve, the Haerwusu coal mine is the second largest coal reserve in 2nd largest reserve in the world and the largest in China. The property is owned by the Shenhua group a stated owned property. It is located in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China, spreading across 67km², the project was developed with a $1.1b and started operations in 2008

The mine’s annual output is estimated to be 20Mt of crude coal. The reserve life is more than 75 years.
Hei Dai Gou, China

The third largest Coal mine is the Hei Dai Gou or Heidaigou. This 1.5b tonnes of recoverable Coal property is also located in the inner Autonomous Region of Mongolia. The open pit operation is also owned by the Shenhua Group. The mine has been in operation since 1999 and currently has a capacity to produce 30million tonnes per annum.

The coal quality is ideal for power generationcontaining low sulphur (<0.5) and low phosphorus (<0.05). In its first few years of production, output grew by 1.5 million tonnes annually. It yielded over 10 million tonnes in 2002, which pushed it into the Chinese category of super-large surface mines (yielding 10 million tonnes annually). It reached full production in 2003 with the crude coal output amounting to 14 million tonnes.

Hei Dai Gou has continued to increase and improve its production capacity, in 2004, it yielded 17 million tonnes of raw coal and in 2006 yielded 20 million tonnes, which made it one of the largest open mines in China. Finally, in 2007, coal output reached 26 million tonnes and HeiDai Gou became the number one surface coal mine in China. This coal not only provided be sufficient supply for surrounding power stations, but additional coal was also shipped into southern China.

Moatize, Mozambique

Brazil’s Vale is one of the largest mining companies in the world and is the majority shareholder of the Africa’s largest Coal mine which also come in as the 4th largest Coal mine in the world. Mozambique’sMoatize Coal mine is located at Tete province and the property holds an impressive reserve of around 1.490billion of recoverable coal.

This 95% owned Vale operation is the group’slargest property in the segment. The concession to build and operate was granted in 2006. Vale identified the key challenge in this operation as that of a lack of infrastructure specifically rail to transport the coal from the mine site to the ports and has a result are investing in 2 rail lines Sena and Nacala Corridor. The mine started operations in 2011 with current output at about 11MTand its output is primarily exported to China, the Americas, Eastern Asia and Europe

The mine produces both Metallurgical coal which is used for steel production and Thermal coal which is used to generate heat and power in thermal power plants. Moazite is expected to reach a full capacity of 22MT when it reaches full capacity in 2015
Black Thunder, US

The Black Thunder project is the fifth largest coal mine in the world, located in Wyoming USA. This project which started n 1977 by ARCO Coal has a recoverable coal reserve of around 1.46billion tonnes covering an area of about 35 thousand acres.

The project was for a long time regarded as the largest coal mine in the US until PaebodyEnegry’s North Antelope Rochelle Coal Mine took over. Black Thunder is owned and operated by Arch Coal.

The project is a surface mining operation with seven operational pits areas and three loadout facilities.

Black Thunder produces about 8% of the US total coal supply with average production levels of 92.9Mt per annum which the company plans to maintain till at least 2021.

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