Market Potential

Anthracite coal is a highly desirable resource with a variety of uses. It is primarily used in the manufacturing of steel, the production of cement, and the generation of electricity. 70% of the steel produced globally relies on coal (World Coal Association, 2013); 200kg of coal is required to produce one ton of cement (Van Oss, 2012); and 41% of global electricity production relies on coal (Clemente, 2012). Anthracite is the highest ranking coal because it is older and harder, contains more carbon, has lower moisture content, and burns hotter than any other type of coal. Comprising only 1% of global reserves, anthracite is also the cleanest burning fossil fuel on the planet (Cornerstone, 2013).

Once the joint venture with Prina Energy Aim intends to sell its output to international customers through the joint venture corporation concentrating the marketing efforts in India.

The unavailability of Anthracite Coal in India creates a huge potential for coal as a fuel for Indian Steel industry, which is growing on progressive and steady pace. Huge scope for growth is offered by India’s comparatively low per capita steel consumption and the expected rise in consumption due to increased infrastructure construction and the thriving automobile and railways sectors.

Competitive Advantage

Aim has a variety of advantages. The company has a team of technical experts on ground in Peru, and has also recruited advisors and directors who bring complementary skills to the venture. In terms of infrastructure, power lines run through Aim’s property, while a river runs adjacent to the site. The road network from the site to Otuzco can support 25-ton trucks. From Otuzco to Salaverry, the road is paved and well maintained, and can support up to 50-ton trucks. There are also accommodation facilities close to the property that can cater to Aim employees and contractors. Other advantages include competitive labour wages in Peru, and competitive storage and stevedoring costs at the port together with the ability to extract deposits with minimal or no coal washing.

Anthracite Coal

What Is It and Why This Is So Important?

Anthracite is officially classified as coal however it is not just another fuel, anthracite should not be confused with just ordinary bituminous coal.

Anthracite is the highest quality metallurgical coal available, clean burning, hard coal with the highest carbon content of any coal, very energy efficient and even burns smoke free.

This premium coal represents only 1% of world coal reserves.

The Cleanest Burning Solid Fossil Fuel

Anthracite is an almost pure form of carbon. It has a very high heat value, and very low levels of sulphur and other impurities. This makes it not only the most sought after home heating fuel but also a much sought after, high quality component for a number of industries.

The anthracite coal extracted from the AIM coal concessions in Peru have been tested by the world-wide highly regarded SGS labs and the findings indicate a very high fixed carbon, very low ash and sulpher content with a high calorific value.

AIM would be pleased to provide the analysis upon request.

Why Does the World Need Anthracite Coal?

As a result of its attributes, anthracite coal trades at prices substantially higher than thermal coal and has a lower environmental impact. High quality anthracite is increasingly sought for by the steel industry, always under pressure to reduce costs and improve margins.

Metallurgical coal together with iron ore is the principal raw materials used to make steel. As such, it supports an improved quality of life for all of us through its use in the construction of homes and hospitals, and in the production of everything from mass transportation vehicles to wind turbines.

Due to its high carbon content and low volatiles, anthracite is more reactive and efficient with respect to energy released than the lower–ranked coals and consequently has a lower environmental impact due to the lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Urbanization of the emerging economies is resulting in the largest migration of people in human history. The infrastructure required to support the resulting rapid growth is creating unprecedented demand for steel and the coal needed to produce it. Combined with declining coal reserves it is anticipated that there will be long-term global shortage of metallurgical coals. Approximately 500 million tones of new annual metallurgical coal production will be required by the end of the decade to service the growth in demand.

The industry most commonly associated with anthracite is the steel industry.

Within the steelmaking industry, anthracite is used in three processes

  1. Pulverized coal injection
  2. Basic Oxygen Steel
  3. Electric Arc Furnaces

The most common application of anthracite in steelmaking is in Pulverized Coal Injection (PCI) – a secondary stage of most steelmaking processes. Anthracite is injected directly into the furnace along with hot air. Using anthracite reduces the amount of coking coal needed in the first stage, and improves the quality of metal produced. In Basic Oxygen Steelmaking coke produced from metallurgical coal is used as a reducing agent to take out metal oxides. Anthracite coal used by steel makers can create substantial savings by replacing small amounts of coke with anthracite, saving up to 30% in costs.

Anthracite coal is also used for the processing of titanium, ferro-chrome, tin and aluminum.

Other industrial uses of anthracite:

  • Water purification and filtration and manufacture of bricks, wire, silicon and glass.
  • The high carbon content of anthracite makes it the preferred coal for gasification and liquefaction technologies to make urea fertilizers, plastics and high quality synthetic fuels.
  • In countries such as Ukraine and Vietnam anthracite fuels power stations for electricity generation.
  • For the large population not on the gas grid anthracite presents the most cost effective and environment friendly option for heating.