Top 10: Global Mines Based on Production

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10. Coballo Mine (coal) – 16.9 million tons

10. Coballo Mine (coal) – 16.9 million tons

Owned and operated by Peabody Energy, the Coballo Mine is one of the largest mines in the world based on production. The mine, which operates on a seven-day-per-week schedule, produced 16.9 million tons of coal in 2012.

Located in Gillete, Wyoming, the coal mine began production in 1978 utilizing surfacing mining methods. The mine utilizes a cast blast, dozer-push, and truck and shovel operation with three inbound and two outbound trains for shipping.

9. Haerwusu Mine (coal) – 20 million tons

The Haerwusu Coal Mine is situated in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China. As the second biggest coal mine in the world by reserve, the Haerwusu Mine produced 20 million tons of coal in 2012. The mine, which is owned and operated by China’s state-run Shenhua Group, is the largest open-cast coal mine in China.

8. Samarco Alegria Mine (iron ore) – 21.8 million tons

Making our list at number eight is the Samarco Alegria iron ore mine. Located in the state of Minas Gerais in south-east Brazil, the mine is one of the largest iron ore mines in the world based on proven and probable reserves. The mine, which is a 50-50 joint venture with BHP Billiton and Vale, produced roughly 22 million tons of iron ore in 2012. The mine is estimated to contain 1.89 billion tons of iron ore.

7. Vargem Grande Mine (iron ore) – 22.6 million tons

Another iron ore mine based in Brazil, the Vargem Grande Mine produced 22.6 million tons of iron ore in 2012. Owned and operated by mining conglomerate Vale, the mine is estimated to contain roughly 2.53 billion tons of proven and probable iron ore reserves.

The Vargem Grande Mine is broken up into three open-pit mines: Tamandua, C apitao do Mato and Aboboras. Production at the mining complex is expected to last until 2058.

6. Sishen Mine (iron ore) – 30.9 million tons

The Sishen iron ore mine produced 30.9 million tons of iron ore in 2013. The mine, which is the first (and only) mine located in South Africa on our list, is owned and operated by Kumba Iron Ore Limited. Operational since 1947, the mine is one of the biggest open-pit mining operations in the world.

5. Minas Itabiritos Mine (iron ore) – 31.8 million tons

Back on global production, the Minas Itabiritos Mine in Brazil makes our list at number five. The mine, which is the world’s third largest iron ore mining operation, is estimated to contain roughly 2.78 billion tons of iron ore. The site is comprised of four mining deposits: Segredo, Joao Pereira, Sapecado and Galinheiro.

4. Cerrejon Mine (coal) – 32 million tons

Since commencing production in 1985, the Cerrejon open-pit coal mine has produced 32 million tons annually. Located in the Guajira Peninsula of Colombia, the mine is divided into three primary deposits: Cerrejon North Zone, Cerrejon Central Zone and Cerrejon South Zone. The mine, which is owned by a joint venture partnership with Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore, is estimated to contain roughly 754 million tons of recoverable goal reserves.

3. Black Thunder Mine (coal) – 92.9 million tons

Number three on our list of the most productive mines in the world is the Black Thunder Coal Mine. Located in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, US, the surface mining complex first opened its doors in 1977 by ARCO Coal, later being acquired by Arch Coal in 1998. The  mine site utilizes seven active mining deposits  and utilizes the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads for coal shipping.

2. Carajas Mine (iron ore) – 104.88 million tons

Owned and operated by Vale, the Carajas iron ore mine in Brazil is the world’s largest iron ore mine. In 2012, the mine produced 104.88 million tons of iron ore and is estimated to contain 7.27 billion tons of proven and probable reserves.

Vale is currently implementing a $19.6 billion expansion to the mine which will include a new mine along with a complete truckless transport system and other automation systems in order to reduce emissions and fuel costs.

1. North Antelope Rochelle Mine (coal) – 107.7 million tons

The North Antelope Rochelle Mine is the largest and most productive coal mine in the world. Owned and operated by Peabody Energy, the mine has produced more than 1.8 billion tons of coal since commencing production in 1983. The mine is estimated to contain nearly 2.4 billion tons of recoverable coal.

Located in the U.S. state of Wyoming, the North Antelope Rochelle Coal Mine incorporates approximately 1,300 people and annually injects roughly $128 million into the regional economy.  Over 40 percent of the United State’s coal comes from this mine.

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