Argentina and coal

From Global Energy Monitor

Argentina is a relatively minor producer and consumer of coal, and domestic production has steadily declined over the past decade.[1]

Production at the country's largest coal mine, Río Turbio Mine, has long struggled to meet promised production targets, while the mine and the adjacent, indefinitely idled Río Turbio power station have been plagued by mismanagement, cost overruns, and allegations of corruption.[2]

Coal Resources

According to expert reports commissioned by the World Energy Council in 2011, Argentina's reserves included “proved amounts in place of 752 million tonnes of sub-bituminous coal and 7,350 million tonnes of lignite, which are found in two main deposits, Río Coyle with some 5 billion tonnes in place, and the middle course of the Río Santa Cruz, with 2.35 billion. Both these deposits lie in the Río Leona formation. The only proved reserves reported are 550 million tonnes of sub-bituminous. Undiscovered coal of this rank estimated to be in place amounts to 300 million tonnes, of which 100 million is regarded as recoverable.”[3]

Coal deposits are generally small and widely scattered, mostly found in southern Patagonia. Coal was mined there until 2000, when activity ceased.[4]

Resource Details

Category Reserve Classification Quantity Units Data Year
BGR Estimate Reserves 500[5] million tonnes 2019
BGR Estimate Resources 7,600[5] million tonnes 2019
Geological Survey Reserves 475[6] million tonnes 1998
Geological Survey Resources million tonnes
Commercial Reserves Reserves million tonnes
Commercial Resources Resources million tonnes

Coal Production

In 2019, Argentina produced less than 0.05 million tonnes of coal per year, ranking 62nd in the world.

Coal Mines

Coal Consumption

Argentina consumed 781,000 metric tons of coal in 2019, ranking 72nd globally.[1] In 2019 Argentina derived more than three quarters of its total energy supply from fossil fuels, with coal supplying the least. Natural gas contributed 54.90%, followed by oil (32.81%), biofuels (4.63%), hydro (3.50%), nuclear (2.27%), and coal (1.74%). Other renewables such as wind and solar represented less than 1% of total energy supply.[7]

Fossil fuels account for 62% of Argentina's electrical generation and installed capacity, with renewables (mostly hydro) contributing roughly half that amount, and nuclear power making up the difference.[8]


Argentina imported 1.2 million metric tons of coal in 2018.[1]

Proposed coal stations

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Argentina". U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Retrieved 2021-06-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Especial LN+: Río Turbio, una mina convertida en símbolo de la corrupción". La Nación. September 10, 2017.
  3. Energy Resources: Coal , World Energy Council, Country Notes, 2013.
  4. Tulio Halperin Donghi, Peter A.R. Calvert, and Robert C. Eidt, [Argentina], Encyclopedia Britannica, 12 July, 2021
  5. 5.0 5.1 BGR Energy Study 2019 - Data and Developments in German and Global Energy Supplies (23), 200 p, Hannover, Germany
  6. Government of Argentina Ministry of the Economy, "MERCOSUR", Government of Argentina website, 39 p, Accessed July 2021.
  7. "IEA Policies and Measures Database © OECD/IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-04-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "Panorama energético de América Latina y el Caribe 2020 (p 98)". OLADE. November 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Related articles

External resources

External articles