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China consumes 2 billion tons of coal each year and that will grow to 4 billion tons by 2016. There are 28,000 coal mines in China. The Chinese Central Government's goal is to reduce the number of small coal mines in the country from 20,622 in 2005 to 10,000 by 2010.

Shenhua Energy Company is China’s biggest coal mining group and the fifth-largest in the world. It is also the largest export coal producer in China, exporting 26,6 million tons a year in 2004, approximately 37% of China’s total thermal coal exports.

 Indian power companies were likely to import up to 82-million tonnes of coal during 2013/14. Around 50-million tonnes would have to be imported by the 25 thermal power plants to meet shortfall from domestic mines while another 32-million tonnes would be imported by thermal power plants based on imported coal. During 2012/12 total Indian coal import was pegged at 137.56-million tonnes.

Glencore plc is the world's largest producer of export thermal coal. 

Four World-class Coal Deposits
Monday July 1, 2013, 4:10am PDT
By Staff Writer - Exclusive to Coal Investing News

Montana, United States

The United States houses the most coal reserves in the world, and in turn, Montana has the largest reserve in the United States. According to the annual energy review from the US Energy Information Administration, the state has a total demonstrated reserve base of 119 billion tons. The Powder River Basin, located in Southeast Montana and Wyoming, is the primary source of Montana’s coal. In 2011, 16 of the mines in the basin produced 462 million tons of coal. That amounts to about 42 percent of the total coal production in the United States. Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) is one of the largest mining companies in the region and produces more than 140 million tons of coal from the Powder River Basin each year.

Wyoming, United States

Thanks to the Powder River Basin, Wyoming also hosts one of the largest coal deposits on Earth. It has a total demonstrated coal reserve base of 61 billion short tons. Peabody Energy’s flagship mine, the North Antelope Rochelle mine, is located in the state, along with the Caballo and Rawhide mines. The mines currently ship about 20 million tons and 10 million tons of coal a year, respectively.

Kuzbass Region, Russia

The Kuznetsk Basin, or Kuzbass Region, is one of the largest coal deposits in the world. The 10,000-square-mile area was discovered in 1721 and contains proven available reserves of 725 million tons. Southern Kuzbass Coal Company, owned by Mechel (NYSE:MTL), has four open pits and three underground mines in the region. Combined, its assets ship about 23 million tons of coal per year.

Xinjiang, China

China holds the third-largest coal reserves in the world at 114 billion tons. The coal available in Xinjiang is enough to meet global coal demand for the next 367 years, according to the World Coal Association. Estimated available resources in the province range as high as 2.2 trillion tons. However, not all of these may be recoverable, thus much of Xinjiang’s coal reserves are still untapped today. By 2020, experts believe companies could be mining 500 million tons of coal in the area. In 2011, Shenhua Group, China’s largest coal producer, announced it would be investing about $8 billion into Xinjiang. It plans to hit 70 million tons of production a year by the end of 2015.

Coal mining and exploration in Africa

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"Botswana may trump diamond wealth" (Source: Miningmx)

  • CIC Energy Corporation is developing the Mmamabula Energy Project, a planned greenfield power station and integrated coal mine in Botswana. The project consists of two non-contiguous exploration licences, Mmamabula East (50,840 hectares) and Mmamabula South (14,000 hectares), which are wholly owned by CIC’s Botswana subsidiary, Meepong Resources (Proprietary) Limited. The global mineral resource estimate for the project totals approximately 2.3 billion tonnes in the measured and indicated categories. An approximate 74 million tonnes is further reported in the inferred category.
  • Asenjo Energy will have a memorandum of understanding with a power company by June, 2008, and another with a coal-to-liquid fuel (CTL) technology provider as it proves up some six billion tonnes of coal in Botswana.
    Asenjo, is 50% owned by Australia’s ASX-listed Aquila Resources and the rest by Jonah Coal, which is equally held by Jonah Capital and JSE-listed coal group Sentula Mining, formerly Scharrig.
    The Western Mmambula coal field, which is near CIC Energy’s planned Mmamabula power generation plant and dedicated mine, has reconnaissance resources of four billion tonnes.
    Asenjo is adopting the same model CIC energy has been developing to generate power and produce liquid fuel as well as export coal from its coal field.
  • Aviva Corporation Limited (ASX: AVA) disclosed in February, 2008, that it has an initial resource of 1.287 billion tonnes of coal at the Mmamantswe coal project in Botswana in which it is earning 90%. The resource estimate is based on a 32 hole 3,500 m drill programme. Of these, 23 holes intersected coal. Aviva said a new drilling programme to upgrade the deposit to reserve status is planned to commence in late March, 2008. It will comprise between 150-250 holes.


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South Africa

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South Africa produces a total of around 250 million tonnes a year of export and domestic coal.
  • Anglo Coal South Africa is South Africa's largest coal producer. Anglo Coal is committed to increasing its total coal production for domestic and export supply to 100 million tonnes a year from the current 60 million within 10 years, the company said in January, 2008.
  • Bank Colliery
    Bank Colliery formed by the merger of Coronation and Blesbok mines in 1981, now consists of Bank No. 2 Seam and Bank No. 5 Seam mines which produce pulverised coal injection and thermal coal for export and domestic customers. Located 25km north-east of Witbank and 30km south of Middelburg in the Province of Mpumalanga, Bank Colliery is one of Anglo Coal's South African export mines.
    Shareholding: 100%
    Goedehoop Colliery
    Goedehoop Colliery is located 35km south-west of Witbank in the Province of Mpumalanga. Goedehoop produces pulverised coal injection and thermal coal for export customers. A small quantity of low-grade coal is produced for the domestic market. Goedehoop Colliery is one of Anglo Coal's South African export mines.
    Shareholding: 100%
    Greenside Colliery
    Located 20km west of Witbank in the Province of Mpumalanga, Greenside now forms part of the South African Coal Estates (SACE) complex which includes Landau and Kleinkopje mines. Greenside produces pulverised coal injection and thermal coal for domestic and export markets. Greenside Colliery is one of Anglo Coal's South African export mines.
    Shareholding: 100%
    An opencast operation, the Isibonelo Colliery will produce 5 million tonnes of thermal coal per annum when it reaches full production during 2006.
    Shareholding: 100%
    Kleinkopje Colliery
    Located 10km south-west of Witbank in the Province of Mpumalanga, Kleinkopje Colliery produces pulverised coal injection and thermal coal for export. Washed, sized coal is also produced for the domestic market and metallurgical coal for consumption by the local steel industry. Kleinkopje Colliery is one of Anglo Coal's South African export mines.
    Shareholding: 100%

    Kriel Colliery

    Located near Bethal in the eastern part of the Province of Mpumalanga, Kriel Colliery was established to supply coal to Eskom's (South Africa's electric power utility) Kriel power station. It was originally intended to be solely underground, but an opencast section was opened to optimise reserves. Total production is supplied via conveyor belt to Kriel power station. Kriel Colliery is one of Anglo Coal's South African power generation mines.
    Shareholding: 100%

    Landau Colliery
    Located 15km north-west to 12km south-west of Witbank in the Province of Mpumalanga, Landau Colliery, an open-cast operation, produces pulverised coal injection and thermal coal for export and washed sized coal for the domestic market. Landau Colliery is one of Anglo Coal's South African export mines.
    Shareholding: 100%
    New Denmark Colliery
    Located between the towns of Bethal and Standerton in the Province of Mpumalanga, New Denmark Colliery was established in the early 1980s to supply coal to Eskom's (South Africa's electric power utility) Tutuka power station. New Denmark Colliery is one of Anglo Coal's South African power generation mines.
    Shareholding: 100%
    New Vaal Colliery
    Located in the Maccauvlei area immediately south of Vereeniging on the bank of the Vaal River in the Free State Province, New Vaal Colliery was established during the 1980s to mine the remaining coal in the Maccauvlei area to supply coal to Eskom's (South Africa's electric power utility) Lethabo power station.
    Shareholding: 100%
    Eyesizwe Coal
    Eyesizwe Coal is a black empowerment company in which Anglo American has an 11% shareholding.
    Shareholding: 11%
    In August 2004, Anglo Coal and Eyesizwe announced that they were entering into a 50:50 joint venture to mine the Arnot North coal reserves, known as Mafube Colliery.
    Shareholding: 50%
    Richards Bay Coal Terminal
    Situated in the port of Richards Bay, 160 km north of Durban, KwaZulu/Natal, RBCT, which is owned and operated by the major South African coal exporters, was officially opened in 1976. A dedicated rail link allows for the efficient transport to RBCT, which is a privately-owned and operated coal export terminal.
    Shareholding: 27%


Diamond has very special  physical qualities, most of which originate from the strong covalent bonding between its atoms.  Excellent optical and mechanical properties, notably unparalleled hardness and durability, make diamond the most popular gemstone. It has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any material. Those properties determine the major industrial application of diamond in cutting and polishing tools and scientific applications.

Rough diamonds

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BHP Billiton forecast, 2007 to 2015.

135 million carats of rough diamonds, valued at $17.8 billion, will be mined in 2014, which would represent an increase of approximately 3% over 2013 estimates.

According to De Beers total global supply of rough (uncut) diamonds will peak at 160 million carats in 2014 and fall by 30 million carats ten years later. Set against this, total consumer demand for polished diamonds is expected to rise $6bn to $31bn by 2018 and another 50% by 2025.

According to the most recent research report titled “2012 Global Diamond Industry Report” released by the global consulting firm Bain & Company, global diamond consumption is likely to record a compounded annual  growth rateDiamond News of 6%. The worldwide diamond consumption may surge by more than 60% by the end of this decade.

Minki van der Westhuizen, at the Letseng mine in Lesotho, displays four diamonds with a combined weight of 366 carats. At the time, the operating company expected them to fetch a minimum of US$6 million.

Source: JCI
Conversion: 1,00 carat = 200 milligrams = 0,2 gram
Grade is often expressed as cpht = carats per hundred tonnes

Generic picture of rough diamonds sourced from the Argyle mine, Australia.
Source: Mining Weekly

Diamond in kimberlite

Major diamond mining companies

Jwaneng Diamond Mine, Botswana

  • De Beers (established in 1888) is a privately owned company with three shareholders: Anglo American plc 45%, Central Holdings Group 40%, the Government of Botswana 15%. It produces approximately 40% of the world’s supply of rough diamonds from its mines in South Africa, and in partnership with the governments of Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania. Approximately 45% of the world’s rough diamond production (made up from diamonds from De Beers mines and those which De Beers purchases from Alrosa, the Russian state diamond mining company) are sorted and valued by the Diamond Trading Company, the sales and marketing arm of De Beers, headquartered in London. In 2005 the De Beers Group generated US$6,5 billion in revenue and US$554 million in net earnings. De Beers is projecting 14.7 million carats for 2007, with a reduction of 2 million carats in 2008 as a result of the lost volume from those operations that they are disposing of, David Noko, managing director of De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) told Reuters in October, 2007. He also said the company's Voorspoed mine, situated in the Free State province, would start production in 2008, and would produce 1 million carats when in full production. De Beers sold off its loss-making Kimberley Underground mine in the Northern Cape province, which it closed in late 2005, to Petra Diamonds and has said it also intends to dispose of its Cullinan mine. De Beers is spending $100 million a year exploring the six countries in which it has focussed its search for diamonds in 2008. De Beers used to search for diamond deposits in 21 countries. De Beers found another 45 kimberlites during 2007 and will take a number of these into further evaluation. [more]
  • ALROSA Company Limited accounts for 97% of Russia’s diamond production. Its share in the global rough diamond production is 25%. It is also active in Angola. Alrosa sold more than $3 billion worth of rough and polished diamonds in 2006, compared to $2,856 billion in 2005. Alrosa has set a mining production target of $2.289 billion for 2008, including $1.764 billion by Alrosa Co. Ltd. The Russian diamond group expects to generate sales of $2.921 billion, some of it of polished diamonds. Sales by Alrosa Co. Ltd are comprised of $2.112 billion in rough diamond sales and $153.7 million polished diamond sales. The firm said it set a net profit target of RUB 10.146.5 million ($410.56 million). Sales by subsidiary Alrosa-Nyurba, which operates two diamond mines in the Sakha republic, are expected to total $655.2 million. ALROSA, spent US$215 million for all stages of exploration, almost entirely in Russia during 2014. One of the world's two largest diamond miners, ALROSA produces about 28% of the world's rough diamonds by value, and holds about a third of the world's total diamond reserves.
  • Rio Tinto mines in Australia, Canada and Zimbabwe. Rio Tinto – owner of Australia’s Argyle mine and a majority stakeholder in Canada’s Diavik and Murowa in Zimbabwe - is seen to be looking at becoming a key player in the diamond industry, previously controlled by De Beers, but earnings at its diamond division fell 27% to $205 million for the full year of 2006.