The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with many of the world’s coal producing countries, has undertaken a project called the World Coal Quality Inventory (WoCQI). As part of the WoCQI, 16 Colombian samples from Colombia were collected and analyzed
Coal Reserves and Mining
The Energy Information Administration (2003) reports that Colombia has proven recoverable coal reserves of 6.8 billion metric tons, of which more than 94 percent is anthracite and bituminous coal. Northern Colombia contains the majority of coal reserves, in César department and also on the Guajira (Cerrejón) peninsula. The Cerrejón Norte area alone is estimated to have 3 billion metric tons of potential resources (Engineering and Mining Journal, 1994). The Cerrejón coalfield north zone is home to the Cerrejón Zona Norte mine, the largest opencast coal mine in the world (fig. 3) and is the largest coal mining operation in Latin America. The Cerrejón Zona Norte mine has a very desirable low-ash (1 – 21 percent), low-sulfur (0.01 – 0.23 percent, asreceived), non-caking bituminous coal of Tertiary age. Production from the mine was 18.4 million metric tons in 2000, about 19 million metric tons in 2001, about 15 million metric tons in 2002, and just over 16.4 million metric tons in 2003. The mine exports over 80% of its production to Europe.