Anthracite is a hard and compact variety of coal that has the highest content of carbon amongst all types of coals. With fewer impurities & highest calorific value there is a global increase in anthracite’s demand which is escalating the anthracite coal mining market. It accounts for only 1% of the total world’s coal reserves. Residue left over after the combustion of anthracite has fewer impurities with negligible smoke compared to other varieties of coal which makes it an efficient fuel. The global market for anthracite coal mining keeps on changing and evolving based on new partnerships, acquisitions or new players. There is a fundamental shift in the mineral resources market where the traditional producers and suppliers are diverting supplies to domestic consumers and are focusing on its imports.
Anthracite is the most favored PCI’s (pulverized coal injection products) and ULV (ultra low volatile products) that is directly fed into blast furnace in countries such as China and India. The use of coke has been reduced by anthracite, as it is a superior and cleaner substitute; moreover the worldwide shortage of coke and its relatively high price has strengthened the demand for ULV anthracite in future. The use of ULV is sought by steel mills as it provides superior performance due to higher carbon and energy content.
This has immensely increased the market for anthracite coal mining. Mining is a risk prone task which destroys the land and emits harmful gases besides the anthracite mines are prone to danger that includes roof falls, explosions, mine fires and collapsing of mines. The miners fear many types of natural incidents that can be caused by properties of coal and underground atmosphere such as “marsh gas” and “fire damp”.
Anthracite is classified in to three grades based on its carbon content and its mining is done based on the type of coal required. The segmentation of anthracite mining market is done on the basis of anthracite coal grades:
- Standard grade
- High grade
- Ultra-high grade
The end users of anthracite coal include sectors such as power industry, railway, coke producers, steel manufacturers and commercial users. Some of the other areas of application of anthracite include as a coke substitute in chemical industries, in building material production, sugar production and in production of plastics, sorbents & adsorbents.
Some of the key players of this market include Bathurst Resources, Cokal, Attila resources, Carabella Resources, Tigers Realm, Jameson Resources, Aspire Mining. Other small users include Aberdeen Mining Company, Baker, Walter L, Anthracite Mine Rescue Inc. Barren Coal Co., Blaschak Coal Corporation, Jeddo Coal Company, Coal Contractors Inc., BD Mining Co Inc., Carbon Sales Inc., Hudson Anthracite and State Industries Inc.