Business Maverick

Business Maverick

China to host almost a third of the world’s new coal mines

China to host almost a third of the world’s new coal mines
A stacker-reclaimer operates at a coal stockpile site in Taicang, Jiangsu Province, China, on Saturday, 23 October 2021. (Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Almost a third of the new coal mines planned for the world are in China, all but guaranteeing that output will keep rising in the top producer, even as calls grow for the dirty fossil fuel to be phased out to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Based on data from Global Energy Monitor, China had 559 million tons of proposed new coal mines at the start of the year, accounting for 29% of the global total, according to a note from Bloomberg Intelligence. Australia was second with a 17% share, then India and Russia with 16% each. Still, the 1.94 billion tons of new mines planned around the world is 15% less than a year ago.

China mined 4.01 billion tons of coal in 2021, a figure that will only increase after production was ramped up to record levels to prevent a repeat of the power crisis that crippled the economy last year. 

The daily coal output target was raised to 12.5 million tons in August, implying annualised production of 4.56 billion tons, BI said. While the spot price should remain resilient as miners prioritise shipments to term-contract customers, imports are likely to come under even more pressure. BM/DM

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