Coal plays a vital role in meeting global energy needs and is critical to infrastructure development - over 40% of the world's electricity and 70% of the world's steel is produced using coal.

Coal truck

This section provides information on how coal was formed, where it's found, coal mining, the many uses of coal and the global coal market. More information is also available to download in the Resources section.

Coal is a combustible, sedimentary, organic rock, which is composed mainly of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.  It is formed from vegetation, which has been consolidated between other rock strata and altered by the combined effects of pressure and heat over millions of years to form coal seams.  Coal is a fossil fuel and is far more plentiful than oil or gas, with around 110 years of coal remaining worldwide. Not only does coal provide electricity, it is also an essential fuel for steel and cement production, and other industrial activities.

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Coal and Steel

The Coal Resource

Coal: Liquid Fuels

How is Coal Used?

Coal - Energy for Sustainable Development

Coal Matters: Coal and Electricity Generation