Top 5 Largest Coal Mining Companies in the World

Coal Mining

The coal industry was undoubtedly a significant foundation for global industrialization, providing an efficient and major source of power around the world. Just over a decade ago, coal mining generated more than 50 percent of U.S. electricity, and it was the undisputed all-star of the energy mix. But things have changed drastically, as demand for coal sharply declined over the past few years, hurt by environmental friendly regulations and the cheap prices of natural gas.

Competition from wind, solar, natural gas and other sources has bedeviled the industry to the extent that many companies have gone bankrupt. However, 2017 saw the sector reviving itself, with the world’s largest coal users, including India, China, and the U.S., revamping their policies and backing up the global coal mining industry.

Technavio expects the market to begin growing again over the next four years. See more insights on the global coal mining industry below.


Here are the top 5 coal mining companies that are managing to achieve significant revenues to remain competitive in the industry

1. Coal India

Coal India Limited (CIL), an organized state-owned coal mining organization, which incorporated with a modest production of 79 million tons, is the single largest coal producer in the world. Operating through 82 mining areas with seven wholly owned coal making subsidiaries, CIL crossed the threshold of half-a-billion tons in 2016, both in coal off-take and production. The company is pursuing initiatives to acquire high CV thermal and metallurgical coal assets abroad to enhance the energy security of the country.

As per the recent market speculations, Coal India is looking to acquire coking coal assets in Australia to furnish its foreign coal assets stock. While the company announced its list of possible destinations for investment, including the US, Canada, Columbia, and Indonesia, the coal mining giant has decided to focus on South Africa and Australia for the current acquisitions.

2. BHP Billiton Limited

Beginning as a tin mine on Indonesia’s Belitung Island in the 1860s, Billiton merged with BHP, a lead, zinc, and silver producer in Broken Hill Australia in 2001 to become one of the world’s largest diversified resource companies. Following the demerger of South32 in 2015, BHP Billiton now has four key pillars, including copper, iron ore, petroleum, coal and a potential fifth in potash with major operations in 8 countries.

In 2016, the company outlined the path for its coal mining business to improve outcomes by reducing costs, unlocking productivity and releasing latent capacity. Even in today’s challenging industry environment, all of their operations remain cash positive. BHP Strongly feels that there will be improved market dynamics in the future.

3. Shenhua Group

Established in 1995, China’s Shenhua Group is a backbone state-owned organization directly under State Council. It is one of the largest enterprises featuring the one-stop business of production, operation, and transportation, with coal business being its foundation, and electricity, port, aviation, railroad, coal-to-chemical, as well as coal-to-liquid operations, all being integrated. Shenhua is the most prominent coal mining company in China, with the highest level of modernization and the largest distribution worldwide.

Recently, the government of China approved the merger of Shenhua group corp., with power major China Guodian Corp. With assets of $271 billion, the new organization will be the world’s second-largest company by revenue and largest by installed capacity.

4. Arch Coal

Arch Coal, a Creve Coeur-based coal producer, which, like other coal mining companies, was battered by the lessening demand for coal, filed for bankruptcy protection nearly two years ago to reduce its debts. However, with the remarkable restructuring strategy and Trump’s vow to support more and more coal mining, the battered company made a strong comeback in the coal mining world.

Today, Arch Coal is one of the leading coal producers, with 96 million tons of coal sold in 2016. The company is well-positioned in the U.S. with low-cost mining developments and high-quality reserves in strategic U.S. coal supply basins. Altogether, Arch Coal represents over 13 percent of America’s coal supply from their active mining complexes in Wyoming, West Virginia, Colorado and Illinois.

5. Anglo American Plc

Anglo American Plc, with roots going back more than a century to South Africa’s gold and diamond fields, is now one of the world’s largest diversified mining companies. Anglo American has a wide coal portfolio that is geographically diverse, with thermal coal assets (for electricity generation) in Colombia and South Africa, and metallurgical coal assets (for steel manufacture) in Australia. They are the third largest suppliers of metallurgical coal.

In 2017, the company sold the Eskom-linked thermal coal operations in South Africa for $167 million, marking a significant step in the mining giant’s strategic overhaul to sharpen its focus on the other three commodities.