Programs for Coal Resources Development

Japan relies on imports from overseas countries for most coal resources, which naturally makes the country to make its utmost endeavors for sustainable supply of coal through overseas coal resources development, relevant information collection, and analysis and assessment of such information.

At present, JCOAL is carrying out geographical surveys, exploration, and information and data analysis to identify potentiality of overseas coal resources. At the same time, JCOAL is continuously working to improve the assessment capacity and technological capability concerning development import, and to enhance provision of information and services to the member companies, coal resources developers, suppliers, and users, in accordance to their needs.

Programs for sustainable coal supply are being promoted by means of multi-faceted government and private-sector efforts, such as top-level bilateral dialogues joint bilateral infrastructure development, financial support, as well as human resources development.
The ratio of coal from mines developed independently by Japanese companies (with coal mining rights) to the total coal consumption in Japan is called independent development ratio. Such independent development ratio in Australia currently is around 70%. Globally, however, the ratio remained at around 40% as of 2010. Further efforts will be made by Japan to promote acquisition by Japanese companies of more coal mining rights in Indonesia and other coal producing countries and development of coal mines to improve the independent development ratio, thereby contributing to sustainable coal supply.

1.Exploration of Coal Resources

Coal outcrop in Mongolia

(1)Overseas Geological Survey

In coal producing countries, potential of which is yet to be fully explored, basic surveys such as geological survey, geophysical exploration survey, drilling survey, etc. are conducted in order to facilitate exploration and development of coal mines in cooperation with the private sector. Data and information collection and analysis are being conducted in association with exploration and development of coal resources as well as relevant database building.

(2)Assessment of Coal Resources and Reserves

Since fiscal 2009, JCOAL has been collecting data on coal quality and untapped coal resources and reserves in Japan, Indonesia, Australia, North America (USA and Canada), Mongolia and Russia. Collected data are released on the JCOAL Data Bank website.

【lerf】Russia Coal Deposits 【right】Mongolia Coal Deposits

2.Coal Mine Development Survey

JCOAL is working on feasibility studies of commercial development of coal mines, covering needed various fields such as; identification of coal occurrence, assessment of coal reserves, mining methods, designing of mining, washing, transportation of coal, and operation plans, transport infrastructure plan, and coal sales plans. JCOAL undertakes review and assessment of the existing feasibility study reports as well as operation plans of active coal mines, and offers the recommendations for betterment and improvement to optimize the operations. JCOAL investigated the Tygit coal mine in Myanmar in order to make sustainable coal supply to the Coal power plant located next to the mine site in 2012.

【left】Myanmar Coal Mine(Tygit Coal Mine)
【right】Tygit Coal Power Plant

3.Facilitation of Infrastructure Development

Infrastructure development is critical to the smooth coal transportation between coal producing countries and consuming countries. JCOAL carried out the feasibility study on the infrastructure of South Sumatra, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and Papua in order to facilitate transport infrastructure development in Indonesia,

4.Drafting Coal Development Programs

JCOAL draws up a master plan for coal development and usage of coal covering an entire mine site, and then provides further details of the efficient coal development plan, taking environment sustainability into account that also ensures sound development of the coal industry.

(1) Coal Development Roadmap of Mozambique

Mozambique is one of the few coal-producing countries where is expected to produce high-quality coking coal. JCOAL has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with Empresa Mocambicana de Exploracao Mineira SA (Mozambique Mineral Exploration Public Corporation), to formulate a roadmap for development of business environment, covering joint survey for coal resources exploration and development, design of institutional arrangement, and human resources development.

Moatize Coal Mine in Mozambique

5.Utilization and Development of Untouched Resources (CMM, CBM, ECBM, etc.)

One of the barriers to the wide use of coal is GHG emissions accompanying coal utilization. In addition to CO2 emissions from coal combustion, coal mine methane gas (CMM) emitted during mining is to be addressed. Accordingly, JCOAL is promoting the designing and construction of CMM recovery and utilization facilities overseas, thereby contributing to prevention of global warming. Accordingly, JCOAL carried out the preliminary survey for commercial CMM power generation in China. JCOAL also conducted surveys to identify the possibility of wider use of technologies for CMM utilization in China and the US. JCOAL also conducted CMM usage surveys in Australia.