coal mine replacement with other minerals

When we talk about coal mine replacement and loss of jobs some say that that other minerals will take their place. There are over 35,000 mines of all types globally, But the coal mining industry has over 24,949 companies involved, and market size is over $791 billion. With over 7 million workers just in mining,

Mining Sector Value Breakdown

PWC have reports including “Mine 2021: Great expectations, seizing tomorrow” and was is clear from Fig 5 is that Coal production is about 17% of global mine revenue. Copper has remained consistent, as has Gold,l Aluminium and iron ore. The challenge from renewable energy and removal of the thermal energy coal (by renewable energy) and removal of coking coal in green steel, that the increase in battery minerals such as lithium, zinc, copper, graphite or PGE minerals won’t make up the shortfall. Previous reports show some of the changes in the industry.

Lithium demand is likely to grow 30 times by 2030. Zinc, copper, nickel will increase but only small amounts are used in batteries. Rare earth elements will increase due to increased motors in EVs

coal mine replacement and breakdown by revenue for minerals globally
Data from PWC Mining 2021 Reveiw https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/energy-utilities-mining/assets/mine-2021/pwc-mine-2021.pdf

How Many Mines for Coal Mine Replacement

The global pipeline of proposed coal power plants has collapsed by 76% since the Paris Agreement in 2015, bringing the end of new coal power construction into sight. For a full breakdown of new mines check out E3G No New Coal by 2021. However 5 countries have new coal mines in production or have announced them.

Biggest Miners in World

Mining Area by Country

The paper of by Maus 2020 in Nature of global mapped areas show China, Australia, USA and Russia have half of the worlds mining areas.

A global-scale data set of mining areas | Scientific Data
A global-scale data set of mining areas Nature

Top 20 Mining Companies

Top Mining Companies by Revenue

Data from Statista Some of these have reduced their exposure to coal.

Number of Coal Mines By Region

The number of mines is provided by Global Energy Tracker. Many more mines get announced than built. Currently there are about 690 mines, but there are nearly 400 proposed projects, with 139 of those under construction (Source Global Energy Tracker Google Sheet)

RegionOperatingCare and MaintanenceProposed Projects (Total)Proposed Projects AnnouncedProposed Projects ExplorationProposed Projects PermittedProposed Projects Under ConstructionProposed New Mine ProjectsProposed Expansion Projects
Africa & Middle East34141624573110
Australia & NZ612498221552722
East Asia3060130332510111119
Eurasia6706429179132638
Europe (EU-27)3303111012
Europe (non-EU)1708430153
Latin America515121150
US & Canada5902461242186
South Asia620577361043918
South East Asia460151905114
Total69043966612970139274122
From Global Energy Tracker

Coal Mine Replacement or New Production

Based on the data above, one can see that the big 4 are planning a 50% increase over what we have.

coal mine replacement is actually growth
Coal Plants – 80% of planned or under construction

Mining Contribution

A study by Erricsson on mining covered all non-fuel minerals and coal for short in the text called metals and minerals. Oil and gas are excluded, and the conclusion is that coal still contributes to economies globally, and especially in Africa.

Fig. 4
Figure 4 From Ericsson 2016 Mining’s contribution to national economies between 1996 and 2016

IEA Projections

The IEA projection is that the revenue in 2020 would half by 2040. and energy transition materials increase by 10 times. The change may be more rapid as the costs of technology, new mining and extraction processes and customer demand drives adoption even faster than this.

IEA, Revenue from production of coal and selected energy transition minerals in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2020-2040, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/revenue-from-production-of-coal-and-selected-energy-transition-minerals-in-the-sustainable-development-scenario-2020-2040
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