What is metallurgical coal?
Metallurgical (met) coal (sometimes referred to as coking coal) is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock found within the Earth’s crust.
Categories of met coal include hard coking coal, semi-hard coking-coal, semi-soft coking coal and pulverized coal for injection (PCI). These apply to the different quality grades of met coal, all of which are used to make steel.
These categories refer to the quality of the grades of coal and how well they perform in the coke and iron making process.
Better quality met coal tends to have more of the reactive fusible components, resulting in stronger coke, while PCI coal tends to have low levels of fusible material.
Met coal typically contains more carbon, less ash and less moisture than thermal coal, which is used for electricity generation.
Facts about metallurgical coal
How is metallurgical coal used?
Met coal is a primary ingredient in the steel making process. It takes around 770 kilograms of coal to make one ton of steel.
Approximately 70% of global steel is produced in basic oxygen blast furnaces.
The majority of steel is used in:
Why does BHP mine metallurgical coal?
Met coal is an essential ingredient in the production of steel.
Steel is one of the most widely used building materials on earth, and we expect it to remain so in the coming decades.
In 2019, BHP produced 70 million tonnes of met coal. That’s enough to produce enough steel to build the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) over 1,600 times!