Fifth largest coal deposit in the world found in Colombia

Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista, the world of mining's top entrepreneur, just got richer. CCX, a division of the billionaire’s EBX Group energy arm MPX, announced it has completed a study of coal reserves in the San Juan underground mines in Colombia, discovering a 672 million tons reserve, the fifth largest coal deposit in the world.

Located in the department of La Guajira, in the Colombian Caribbean region, San Juan’s coal reserves will guarantee, according to local financial site Dinero.com, an average production exceeding 25 million tons per year for the next 20 years.

CCX president Leonardo Moretzsohn told Dinero.com that production might even surpass 28 million tons a year at the peak of production:

"The resources of San Juan is among the five largest coal in the world and has excellent quality. Due to its high calorific value can be negotiated with the 30% premium over the average price of traditional thermal coal, " said Moretzsohn.

The news came a day after Colombia’s geological service, Ingeominas, announced that coal production in the country increased 14.6% to 23.31 million tons in the first three months of 2012, compared with the same period last year.

Ingeominas added this production jump makes of Colombia the fourth largest coal exporter in the world.

The South American country’s coal industry is controlled by large producers, which own ports and railways such as Glencore, Drummond and Cerrejón, a joint venture among BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Xstrata.

Colombia is experimenting a mining boom driven mainly by coal, gold and oil. To learn more about the reasons why an increasing number of miners are looking to do business in the country, read “Why every miner wants to be Colombia’s new best friend.”