Coal

Coal plays a vital role in meeting global energy needs and is critical to infrastructure development - 37% of the world's electricity and 74% of the world's steel is produced using coal.

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 150 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.

In summary
  • In this section
  • Coal news
  • Resources

In this section

Resources

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Coal and Steel

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The Coal Resource

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Coal: Liquid Fuels

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How is Coal Used?

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Coal - Energy for Sustainable Development

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Coal Matters: Coal and Electricity Generation