Global Export Thermal Coal Cost Curve

Published: September 2016
No. of Pages: 16


This report provides a breakdown of mining cash costs per tonne for individual export thermal coal operations, company production and country production. Timetric's analysis covers 180 coal operations accounting for over 500Mt of coal production globally. Overall 30 companies have been included, ranging from the large producers, such Peabody Energy, Shenhua Energy, and Glencore, to smaller players, such as Whitehaven.


This presentation and accompanying Excel data, provides an coal cost curve for 180 mines, with breakdown of costs into mining, processing, admin, land transport, port charges and royalties.

Specific datasets include:

  • Global Mine Level Cost Costs
  • Global Company Equity Production Costs
  • Country level Production Costs
  • Glencore Cost Curve
  • SUEK Cost Curve
  • Anglo American Cost Curve


The report is based Timetric's proprietary cost estimation model and data from Timetric's Mining Intelligence Center.

Reasons To Buy

  • Understand the global industry structure of coal mines
  • Analyze mines you may be working with, including how they compare against their peers
  • Assess the performance of coal companies

Key Highlights

  • Global export thermal coal costs vary considerably. However thermal coal quality also vary, with low quality Indonesia coal dominating that first quartile of the curve, while higher quality Australia thermal coal is in the second half of the curve.
  • Processing costs make a difference in total FOB cost. Indonesian thermal coal, with its low ash content (below 5%) does not need to be washed, reducing costs by up US$10/t in comparison to Australian and US operations.
  • Low strip ratios will ensure most operations have low mining costs per tonne. Indeed strip ratios are often the determinant for whether an export thermal coal deposit is economically feasible. Many high cost thermal coal mines, have higher strip ratios particularly in Australia.
  • Rio Tinto's exit away from thermal coal is becoming more apparent, once a major producer and key negotiator in the annual Australian-Japan thermal coal contract. It has significantly reduced its thermal coal operations, selling Clermont, Bengalla and its Mozambique operations. Its remaining operations are also comparatively higher cost, putting Rio Tinto in the fourth quartile.
  • Russian operations have low mine gate costs, but then the transportation costs (often rail) over vast distances to Far East ports significantly bring up their FOB Costs.

Published By: GlobalData Energy
Product Code: Timetric2698

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