Coking coal – critical raw material

Goods new for JSW. Today, on 3 September, the European Commission listed coking coal in the list of Critical Raw Materials for the EU. This year’s revision of the list of critical raw materials has confirmed the importance of coking coal for the development of European economy.

photo: Dawid Lach

Coking coal has maintained its place in the list of critical raw materials for the European Union. The list comprises raw materials which are the most important from the economic perspective and whose deliveries are exposed to high risk due to concentration of their global production. The list of critical raw materials, published every three years, is a tool supporting the development of the European Union policy which makes it easier to identify investment needs. The economic significance and the risk associated with deliveries are two key parameters used to determine the critical importance of the raw materials for the EU. Access to coking coal is highly concentrated. Australia itself accounts for 24% of its global production, and in the European Union Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa is the largest producer satisfying nearly 20% of the annual demand of the European steel industry. In EU countries coking coal deposits are nearly exhausted. Therefore the European Community must import most of this material from third countries to satisfy its needs. Every year EU steel mills consume 37 million tons of coke, whose production requires 53 million tons of coking coal (production of 1 ton of the main semi-finished product in the steel industry, the so-called pig iron, takes as much as half a ton of this type of coal). Only 17 million tons comes from EU countries, including as much as 11.6 million tons from Poland, while the rest is imported from Australia, US, Canada and Mozambique. Coking coal, next to iron ore, is the key raw material for the steel industry. The coal produced in JSW contributes to reduction of EU’s dependence on the imports of this raw material from third countries. The new list of critical raw materials is to prevail for the next three years and comprises 30 raw materials, including, among others, antimony, beryllium, borates, chromium, fluorite, phosphorite, gallium, germanium, graphite, indium, cobalt, silicon metal, magnesium, magnesite, rare earths, niobium, platinum group metals and tungsten. Compared to the previous list, published in 2017, the current list has been expanded to include bauxite, lithium, strontium and titanium, while helium has been removed from the list.