The region’s coal proved recoverable reserves amounted in 2015 to 9.7 thousand million tonnes of oil equivalent. Top countries per coal reserves and production include: Colombia (6,746 Mt, production – 85.5 Mt), Brazil (6,630 Mt, production – 7.9 Mt) and Venezuela (479 Mt, production – 0.8 Mt).

Colombia has the largest coal reserves and production in the region and is a key thermal coal exporter. The main export markets include North America, Turkey and Netherlands, and most recently India, Japan, South Korea and UAE. The country’s largest mine is Carbones de Cerrejón, is jointly owned by BHP Billiton, Glencore and Anglo American and produced in 2015 around 33.3 million tonnes from the estimated 2 billion tonnes of resources.

Brazil has also vast coal reserves and production is concentrated in the states of Santa Catarina, at Vale Tubarão and Rio Grande do Sul, at Vale do Rio Jacuí. The country is a relatively small producer of coal due to its high ash content and low calorific value, making it unsuitable for the steel industry. The vast majority of the coal consumed in the country is exported, and the one produced domestically is used in power generation. In 2013, coal accounted for 6% of the total primary energy supply. There were 13 coal mines in 2014 operating in the country, the largest being CRM owned by the state of Rio Grande do Sul (output of processed coal in 2014 – 2.490 Mt).

Most of Venezuela’s coal reserves are bituminous and the major coal-producing region is the Guasaré Basin, near the Colombian border. Coal consumption was registered in 2015 at 0.2 mtoe. The latest announcement concerning the coal mining industry in the country is the investment of the Chinese company Sinohydro in a 1000 MW coal-fired plant in the western state of Zulia, with a license to produce and export for 30 years up to 36 Mt of coal per year.

Regional Coal Recoverable Reserves

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Coal Production

Coal Production66Mtoe per year

Coal Recoverable Reserves9.7thousand Mtoe

Coal Recoverable Reserves by region

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Coal Recoverable Reserves by country

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Top Coal producing countries

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