Anthracite is considered the rarest and the most highly prized and mature type of coal. It makes up just 1% of total global coal reserves, and has a higher carbon content than the other three types of this material. This means that, in addition to domestic applications, anthracite is also suitable for specific industrial uses, as it can generate more heat and produces less waste.
Anthracite is mined in the mountainous regions of the United States, China, Russia and South Africa and comes in three different categories:
- High Grade
- Ultra High Grade
The carbon content of standard anthracite has more impurities than the other two categories, and so it is predominantly used in specialised power plants. The other two categories, meanwhile, are considered purer and have a greater carbon content, and so are predominantly used in the iron and steel industry (sometimes in place of coke).
The high efficiency of this material and the fact that it can only be mined in areas with a high seismic risk have a significant effect on its value, making anthracite more expensive than other types of fuel.