Anthracite: The Black Diamond in the World of Fossil Fuel

Spotlight Companies  |

A premium clean burning, hard coal called Anthracite has the highest carbon content of any coal and should be classified as the "Black Diamond" of clean burning solid fossil fuels. The unique nature of this rare coal is positioned for incredible demand on the world stage.

Cleaner and energy efficient Anthracite burns smoke free and is the highest quality metallurgical coal available. Although it is classified as a coal, it is not just another fuel source, and should not be confused with ‘ordinary’ bituminous coal. It is this "black diamond" coal that is in high demand and will augment other coal (blended) and is the critical ingredient for steel production.

The most economical and environmental friendly answer is Anthracite.

We found a publicly traded company AIM Exploration (AEXE) who is positioned to capitalize on the growth of this super coal via the Anthracite project, which AIM owns and controls through its wholly-owned subsidiary. Aim Exploration holds a high grade Anthracite Coal mining property in the Alto Chicama basin, in the province of Otuzco in Peru. Aim SA acquired these rights by purchasing these assets from Percana Mining Corp (Percana SA), a Peruvian corporation.

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 a much sought after, high quality component for a number of industries.

Anthracite is a highly pure and rare form of coal. The energy contained in anthracite comes from the energy plants absorbed from the sun millions of years ago. This premium coal represents only 1% of world coal reserves.

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 positive environmental impact.

The industry most commonly associated with anthracite is steel. Within the steelmaking industry, anthracite is used in three processes in particular:

  • Pulverised coal injection
  • Basic Oxygen Steel
  • The most common application of anthracite in steelmaking is in Pulverised 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. Replacing small amounts of coke with anthracite saves up to 30% in costs demonstrating the cost advantages of anthracite over coke.
  • In Electric Arc Furnaces anthracite is again used as a reducing agent, added to the furnace alongside the charged material to take out metal oxides. Its low cost per lb of fixed carbon, plus the all-important low sulphur content, make it a sought after material in this process.

Electric Arc Furnaces

Anthracite has many properties which make it a premium product compared with ordinary bituminous coal. Basically, it uses depend upon it’s qualities as a pure form of carbon and its high heat value and clean burning properties although these two qualities are often used at the same time. Anthracite consistently sells at a premium over other coals and is much less affected by market shifts than bituminous coal.

Anthracite is also the most versatile coal with a wide range of industrial applications. The high carbon and low volatiles content allow coarse anthracite to be used as a direct coke replacement and also as a blend coal with hard coking coal to make metallurgical coke. Anthracite is also the only coal that can be used as sinter feed, and reductants used in electric arc and direct reduction steel manufacturing, and for processing of titanium, ferro-chrome, tin and aluminum. Carbon filters for water purification are made with anthracite coal as well as some carbon composite materials. 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.

AIM Exploration (AEXE) is one of the few embedded companies in the Anthracite sector and has developed strong relationships with strategic partners in India as AIM CEO Todhunter commented , “through years of research there is no question that India presents the strongest market for anthracite coal over the long term which will contribute greatly towards the growth and profitability for the company”, so clearly he has a plan to begin allocating his valuable resource to the correct partners. Futhermore, the company has a strong Board of Directors and a highly sought after group of “experts” on their advisory board, they understand the need and global demand cycle for Antracite.

We will be back with a detailed Q&A with CEO Todhunter in a follow on interview.

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