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 Global Coal Mining Industry Sees Compound Annual Growth

The global coal mining market is growing, with a CAGR of close to 2% from 2018-2022, according to a coal mining report published by Technavio.

Technavio states the industry is largely driven by coal requirements and a rise in electricity generation, and has seen an overwhelming response due to an increase in mining techniques and developing coalmine sites.

The global market is witnessing upward traction as the industry scope is exhibiting vast labor, but market challenges such as illegal possession, fraud and government policies are obstacles.

While the industry is segmented as North America, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific's industry is the most lucrative market, due to high population rates and heavy dependence on coal energy.

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Ramaco to Begin Construction of iCAM Facility

Wyoming carbon tech company Ramaco Carbon announced today that construction of the first phase of its campus, named iCAM (Carbon Advanced Materials), has been green-lighted by county officials. Site work is scheduled to begin immediately.

Once built, the iCAM research center will host researchers from national laboratories, universities, private research groups and strategic manufacturing organizations. Groups will conduct applied research and development with one goal: to use the carbon found in coal to create advanced carbon-based manufactured products.

The office, research lab and pilot building will include approximately 10,000 square feet of interior space that will house research and strategic partners, as well as Ramaco Carbon’s current 3D print manufacturing operation. The building will be a modern steel structure with a sloped rusted corrugated metal roof, designed to complement the local topography and natural colors of the area.

The iCAM research facility will be the first phase of the campus, which will also include a carbon-based manufacturing center (iPark) and the Brook coal mine. The iCAM center will be located near the historic coal mining areas of Acme and Monarch on the Black Diamond Trail, where mining has been done in the Sheridan area since the late 1800s. 

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Coal-to-Graphene Facility Planned Near Wise, Virginia

The chief executive of a Kingsport, TN-based firm that produces alternative carbon products has confirmed the company will establish a coal research facility in Wise County, Virginia in the near future.

Steve Hooper, president and CEO of The EnviraCarbon Cos., confirmed in a Thursday email that the group will locate a facility next year in the Lonesome Pine Business and Technology Park near Wise. A formal opening is planned for late spring 2019.

Steve Hooper

Research will focus on the prospects of converting coal to graphene for industrial use.

EnviraCarbon expects to start with 10 employees and expand research and development efforts in subsequent months, Hooper noted.

The company is negotiating “multiple agreements” with Virginia Tech and other entities, he wrote. “Therefore, it is premature to discuss those active negotiations.”

The GO Virginia Region One Council announced in an Oct. 9 press release that it is recommending a $25,000 grant to Virginia Tech for a coal-to-graphene market study. The recommendation will go to a final vote by the statewide GO Virginia board in December.

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 From the National Mining Association: The Case for Coal

By Hal Quinn, President & CEO, National Mining Association

The United Nations’ recent report on climate change and your editorial (nytimes.com, Oct. 8) — both of which target specific fuels rather than promoting existing solutions — are fundamental to the emissions challenge the world faces today.

Despite aggressive anti-coal campaigns, coal generates the same share of the world’s electricity today as it did 20 years ago. Hundreds of new coal plants are planned or under construction. Affordable, secure and reliable energy is the foundation of prosperity the world over, and as such, coal remains indispensable both here and abroad.

Hal Quinn

High-efficiency coal technologies that slash emissions are available and proven. Research on carbon capture and sequestration has advanced, but needs more support.

Effective emission-reduction strategies must focus on emissions, not specific fuels.

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Perspective on a Global Challenge

According to the U.N Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world must overhaul how it consumes and produces energy if global warming is to be slowed and eventually stopped. The IPCC’s proposed path forward would see the world all but drop fossil fuels by 2050. It’s a headscratcher.  

Nearly 80 percent of global energy demand is met with fossil fuels. Any credible approach to reducing emissions must recognize that the fuels and energy infrastructure the world currently leans on for affordable, reliable and secure energy can’t and shouldn’t be abandoned. A better focus would be on emissions, not specific fuels. And, doing so means an emphasis on technology – readily available technologies that can help reduce emissions today and technologies that must be developed and improved for widespread, cost-effective, global deployment tomorrow.

There’s no magic elixir to this challenge. Even as new and disruptive technologies begin to transform how we consume and produce energy, these technologies often just compliment our existing energy systems. In many nations, the deployment of wind and solar power, for example, is largely coming in addition to existing energy infrastructure, not in place of it. China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal and the world’s largest investor in renewable energy, is an important case in point. But this is not a story about one country, nor one fuel.

Take oil demand. It’s expected to continue to grow even as electric vehicles begin to capture a greater share of the passenger vehicle market. Oil demand from fertilizers, plastics and air-travel, as well as other sectors of the global economy, will be far harder to replace than those miles traveled in cars and trucks.

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