Sunday, April 26, 2015

Haerwusu Coal Mine

Haerwusu Coal Mine

The second biggest coal mine in the world by reserve, and China's largest open-cast coal mine

Haerwusu Coal Mine
Haerwusu Coal Mine

Location: The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China.

Products: Coal.

Owner: China’s state-run Shenhua Group.

Geological settings: The coal-bearing sequences in the Guanbanwusu Coal Mine include the Benxi Formation and the Taiyuan Formation (both Pennsylvanian) and the Shanxi Formation (Lower Permian) with a total thickness of 90–210 m (Fig. 2). Coal reserves of the Guanbanwusu Coal Mine amount to 92.04 Mt (Tehong, 2006).The Benxi Formation, with a thickness of 5.27–42 m, lies unconformably on thevMiddle Ordovician Majiagou Formation, and was deposited in a shallow marinevenvironment. The sediments are mainly composed of bauxite, sandstone, mudstone, and siltstone. The Taiyuan Formation, with a total thickness of 12–115 m, is mainly composed of gray and grayish-white quartzose sandstone, mudstone, siltstone, and coal, interbedded with dark-gray mudstone, siltstone, limestone, and thin-bedded quartzose sandstone. It was formed in paralic delta and tidal flat-barrier complex environments. The No. 6 Coal Seam is located at the uppermost Taiyuan Formation and has a thickness between 12.17 and 17.78 m (average 15 m). There are 9 partings with a cumulative thickness of 2 m in the No. 6 Coal Seam. The Shanxi Formation is composed of mainly of terrigenous coal-bearing clastic rocks dominated by sandstones. The formation has a thickness between 21 and 95 m, with an average of 52 m. It was formed in fluvial and delta deposite environments. The Shanxi Formation has five coal seams (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 Coal Seams), but only Nos. 3 and 5 are locally minable. The strata overlying the coal-bearing sequences are non-coal-bearing Upper Shihezi Formation, Lower Shihezi Formation and Shiqianfeng Formation.

Stratigraphic column of the Guanbanwusu Mine, Jungar Coalfield.
Stratigraphic column of the Guanbanwusu Mine, Jungar Coalfield.

Note From Dr. Rabinarayan Mishra

"China's largest open-pit coal mine is located in Haerwusu in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It started production on 20 October 2008, and is operated by Shenhua Group. Its estimated coal output was forecast at 7 million tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2008.
With a designed annual capacity of 20 million tonnes of crude coal, it will operate for approximately 79 years. Its coal reserves total about 1.73 billion tonnes. It is rich in low-sulfur steam coal. Mines in Inner Mongolia are rapidly expanding production, with 637 million tons produced in 2009. Transport of coal from this region to seaports on China's coast has overloaded highways such as China National Highway 110 resulting in chronic traffic jams and delays.
Covering an area of 67 square kilometers, Haerwusu mine lies in the middle of the Zhungeer Coalfield. At the moment it is the open-cast coal mine with the largest production capacity in China. Work on the mine started in May 2006 and the total investment topped 7 billion Yuan. Incidentally 1 Chinese Yuan Renmimbi or 1 CYR = 1 US$ for general informations."

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