Companies in this industry develop coal mine sites, extract coal from surface and underground mines, prepare coal for use, and provide support activities for coal mining. Major companies include Arch Coal and Peabody Energy (both based in the US), as well as Anglo American (UK), BHP Billiton (dually headquartered in the UK and Australia), Coal India Limited (CIL), and ShenHua Group and Yanzhou Coal Mining (both in China).
Internationally, coal mining companies produce about 9 billion short tons of coal annually. Increases in coal consumption are expected to be driven primarily by demand in countries such as China and India, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The largest coal-producing nations are China, India, Indonesia, and the US.
The US coal mining industry includes about 850 mining and support establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $28 billion. About 550 million short tons of coal are produced annually in the US, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Demand comes mainly from generators of electricity. Profitability depends on efficient operations, as coal is a commodity sold on the basis of price. Big companies have significant economies of scale in production and distribution. Small companies can compete if they hold long-term contracts or if they supply local customers. The US industry is fragmented: the top four companies account for about 35% of sales.
Because the US has ample domestic coal reserves and because of the high cost of transporting coal relative to its value, imports account for less than 5% of the US market. Colombia is the leading source of imported coal, followed by Canada. Exports, mainly to India, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, and the Netherlands, account for about 45% of US production.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products of companies engaged in coal mining include bituminous coal (about 45% of revenue), sub-bituminous coal (over 45%), lignite coal (about
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms