What's the Future of coal ?

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Spacecadet
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Post By: Spacecadet » Sat. Mar. 17, 2018 2:31 pm

As per the recent news of factory's opening back up that require the use of coal. What's the future of coal? I was under the impression that coal price has been realativly steady for many years. So, usually when demand goes up so does price. Is this going to be a major factor?

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Post By: coaledsweat » Sat. Mar. 17, 2018 2:50 pm

Nope, don't see that happening.

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Post By: windyhill4.2 » Sat. Mar. 17, 2018 2:54 pm

Spacecadet wrote:
Sat. Mar. 17, 2018 2:31 pm
As per the recent news of factory's opening back up that require the use of coal. What's the future of coal? I was under the impression that coal price has been realativly steady for many years. So, usually when demand goes up so does price. Is this going to be a major factor?
Most of those users don't burn the anthracite that we do for home heating. I would venture to guess that they likely use what is considered industrial coal.... but i am no expert. :)
I burn over 20 ton/yr & am not worried, if it goes up,other forms of fuel will go up to,so it will still be less costly to burn coal.


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Post By: coaledsweat » Sat. Mar. 17, 2018 3:14 pm

Most of the anthracite today is used for residential heating and water filtration. It has limited use in power and industrial applications today, a significant change from days gone by. Expect a very stable price.

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Post By: lsayre » Sat. Mar. 17, 2018 5:45 pm

To my knowledge the 'Met Coal' that is used for making steel (as a coke substitute) is a form of anthracite.

BC Canada has mostly untapped anthracite fields that dwarf the PA reserves, but most of it is more in line with Met Coal specs. I've seen some of the Canada anthracite analyticals however, and I can't tell where they differ all that much from PA anthracite. So if PA ever runs out, there are probably 100X more waiting up in Canada in some regions of God forbidden cold and harshness. The climate and remoteness (lack of access and power) are likely reasons why for the most part (sans for the 'Wolverine/Perry Creek Mine') it just sits there. Walter Energy is a big Canada Met Coal player that is going bankrupt due to their Canadian Met Coal operations, and could be revitalized if steel makes a comeback.

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Post By: freetown fred » Sat. Mar. 17, 2018 6:19 pm

I don't believe it's used as a substitute to make steel, but to make coke which is used to make steel.


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Post By: hank2 » Sat. Mar. 17, 2018 11:42 pm

The Atrum co. of Australia is developing and planning mining in the huge Groundhog and Panorama Anthracite fields in BC. They have ultra high grade met anthracite and very high grade. Some of the seams seem suitable for underground mining. It looks like the plan is to ship from Prince Rupert, to Japan to No. Australia. They'll have to use generators for a couple of years until a power line can be run. I believe that forum member, fifthg had posted about this project sometime back.

Here's their investor brochure. Dated Feb 2018. The Groundhog and Panorama Anthracite project info starts on page 20. They list the coal test results of their first target, Duke E seam coal on page 22. They were expecting to start production in late 2016. I don't know if they did.

https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20180226/pdf/43rxzk ... h2p3pd.pdf

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Post By: lsayre » Sun. Mar. 18, 2018 4:57 am

freetown fred wrote:
Sat. Mar. 17, 2018 6:19 pm
I don't believe it's used as a substitute to make steel, but to make coke which is used to make steel.
Anthracite is definitely a substitute for coke, and I believe it can be used at about 20-25% as a straight-up replacement for coke. High carbon coke is made out of bituminous or lower grade coals, and it would make little sense to turn anthracite into coke, since anthracite is already very high in carbon (though a bit lower than coke). It's a cost thing. If turning low grade coal into coke costs more than buying anthracite, then using anthracite to replace up to 20-25% of the coke makes sense. Standard carbon steel is roughly about 2% carbon by weight (give or take). I believe that 'carbon steel' is made only of iron and carbon. Alloy steels add different metals to the mix to alter steels various properties.

Only some small percentage of "met coal" is essentially anthracite class, and much of what gets lumped under the name met coal (metallurgical coal) is not anthracite. Some met is semi-anthracite, and some (to most?) is likely below even that in quality. I stand corrected if met coal in general must be coked before being added to iron to make steel, which may well be the case. I'm certainly no expert in steel making, though in growing up in very inner city Cleveland, I could walk down into the steel valley, which was quite literally right in the back yard of the old century home I grew up in. Cleveland is a steel making town. I worked in a rolling mill before going to college. The industry was just starting to collapse not long after I began working for Republic Steel. If it hadn't collapsed, I probably would have continued to work there. My dad spent most of his working life making steel.
Last edited by lsayre on Sun. Mar. 18, 2018 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post By: lsayre » Sun. Mar. 18, 2018 5:43 am

The coal at the 'Groundhog' mine in BC Canada is true anthracite. Its 83.5% average carbon content is only at most a scant few percentage points lower than current good quality PA anthracite (which has declined in carbon content over the years due to high-grading, wherein the best grade and most plentiful and easy to access resource always gets mined out first). Groundhog's 5% volatiles, 0.6% sulfur, and 10% ash are quite comparable to PA anthracite. It may prove to be the largest untapped anthracite reserve in the world.

I believe that Vietnam mines more semi-anthracite to anthracite than the rest of the world combined. Is that why we had such a strong past interest in them?

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