Coal Mining in Africa

Globally, coal is a valuable commodity. Predominantly used to generate electricity, coal is also used by the cement and steel industries to extract iron from iron ore and in the production of cement. Coal reserves can be found in nearly every country. There is approximately 890 billion tons of coal around the world - adequate to last approximately 110 years.

Coal mining in Africa contributes just 6% of the world’s total coal deposits. This is a relatively small resource in comparison to Russia (30%), North America (25%) and Asia/Australia (29%). According to the 2010 BP Statistical Energy Survey on coal mining in Africa, there are around 33 399 tons of coal reserves in Africa.

With roughly 4.9% of the global coal reserve concentrated in South Africa, coal mining in Africa hasn’t grown to become a large revenue-earning industry for the continent.

South Africa produces over 250 million tons of coal every year. It is estimated that almost 75% of this coal is used domestically. Nearly 80% of the energy needs of South Africa are taken care of by coal and over 90% of the coal consumed on the entire African continent is produced in South Africa. Extracted coal is typically shipped in small batches from South Africa's east coast to overseas markets, but coal mining in Africa and South Africa mostly creates a steady supply to South Africa's national electricity provider, Eskom.

Zimbabwe has become the only other country actively coal mining in Africa on large scale, with around 0.1% of the global reserve. Botswana has over 200 billion tons of coal reserves and the development of the coal industry has become a major priority. Mozambique is also expected to experience a sharp increase in coal production towards 2020 with its estimated production to exceed 100 million tons between 2015 and 2020.

The five biggest coal mining companies are responsible for approximately 85% of all the coal production: Anglo American PLC, Sasol Mining, Glencore Xstrata, Exxaro and South32’s South Africa Energy Coal.

Over 170 companies rely on Africa Mining IQ to help them drive business within the African mining industry.

Contact AMIQ today on +27 11 830 2132 to target coal mining business opportunities in Africa!

Africa Mining IQ

AMIQ tracks 165 coal mining projects in Africa!

Whether a supplier of heavy-duty coal mining equipment, site services or other mining-related services, Africa Mining IQ supplies leading mining information to help secure contracts and get in touch with the right decision makers.

Africa Mining IQ, as a leading mining intelligence database, lists Anglo American and BHP Billiton to be the two key companies actively coal mining in Africa.

Other details, such as contact persons, project tracking and grassroots initiatives are also available, and help companies and people involved in coal mining in Africa to keep track of the latest developments.



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In depth analysis reports delve into African mining project statistics such as number of projects per region per phase, and have been created for you to download and use for tendering and project tracking purposes.

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