Kazakhstan and coal

From Global Energy Monitor

Kazakhstan is a mid-size producer and consumer of coal. In 2019, Kazakhstan produced 115 million tonnes.[1]

Coal Resources

The United States Geological Survey reports that "the country has registered 49 deposits in its State reserve balance, which contains a total of 33.6 Gt and of which 21.5 Gt is hard coal and 12.1 Gt is brown coal. The reserves are located mainly in the Ekibastuz, the Karaganda, and the Shubarkol deposits and in the Turgai coal basin."[2]

According to expert reports commissioned by the World Energy Council in 2011, “the remaining discovered amounts of coal in place were (in billions of tonnes): 24.7 of bituminous coal and 37.5 of lig- nite, within which the estimated recoverable amounts were 21.5 and 12.1, respectively. It has also provided the following notes on Kazakhstan’s coal endowment: The greater part (63%) of counted (i.e. measured) reserves consists of bituminous coal, found in the Karaganda, Ekibastuz and Teniz-Korzhankol basins, the Kushokinsk, Borly, Shubarkol and Karazhyr deposits, and elsewhere. The remainder (37%) consists of lignite, mainly from the Turgay, Nizhne-Iliyskiy and Maikuben basins.”[3]

Resource Details

Category Reserve Classification Quantity Units Data Year
BGR Estimate Reserves 25,605[1] million tonnes 2019
BGR Estimate Resources 123,090[1] million tonnes 2019
Geological Survey Reserves 35,000[4] million tonnes 2014
Geological Survey Resources million tonnes
Commercial Reserves Reserves million tonnes
Commercial Resources Resources million tonnes

Coal Production

Kazakhstan has a substantial coal mining industry. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGA) reported that in 2006 coal mining in Kazakhstan coal sector "was conducted by 33 companies, which included 5 foreign companies."[2]

Coal Mining

The USGS reported that in 2006, Kazakhstan produced 96.3 Mt of coal, which was an 11.5% increase compared with production in 2005. It noted: "Kazakhstan planned to increase coal production by less than 1% in 2007. Plans for 2007 also called for implementing development projects in the Ekibastuz subbituminous coal basin and closing unprofitable coal mines in the Karaganda basin (Interfax Russia & CIS Metals & Mining Weekly, 2007d). Long-range plans called for Kazakhstan to reduce coal consumption by 45% by 2024 as part of its program to achieve sustainable growth. At the same time, the use of renewable energy was targeted to increase from 0.2% in 2006 to 5% in 2024."[2]

"Long-range plans also called for Kazakhstan to increase annual coal production to 145.6 Mt by 2020 according to the Coal Industry Department at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. Production of metallurgical coal was projected to increase to 24.3 Mt in 2020 from 12.9 Mt in 2006, and production of steam coal, to 121.3 Mt from 83.4 Mt. Achieving the targeted level for 2020 would require an investment of $3.9 billion, of which $2.1 billion would be targeted for metallurgical coal development and $1.8 billion would be targeted for steam coal," the USGA reported.[2]

The USGS lists the major mining areas as being in the Central and north-central parts of the country. The major coal deposits are:

  • the Karaganda Basin from which 50 million tonnes was mined in 2006;
  • the Ekibastuz Basindo from which 95 million tonnes was mined in 2006;
  • the Maykuben Basindo from which 10 million tonnes was mined in 2006; and
  • the Turgay Basin from which 1 million tonnes was mined in 2006.[2]

Coal Consumption

Coal-fired power stations financed by international public investment institutions

Coal-fired power stations financed by international public investment institutions include:[5]

Proposed coal plants

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 BGR Energy Study 2019 - Data and Developments in German and Global Energy Supplies (23), 200 p, Hannover, Germany
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Richard M. Levine and Glenn J. Wallace, "The Mineral Industries of the Commmmonwealth of Independent States", U.S. Geological Survey, September 2009.
  3. Energy Resources: Coal, World Energy Council, Country Notes, 2013.
  4. Government of Kazakhstan, "The concept of development of fuel and energy complex of the Republic of Kazakhstan till 2030 Contents", Coal Industry Ch., Kazakhstan Ministry of Justice website, Accessed July 2021
  5. "Coal Fired Plants Financed by International Public Investment Institutions since 1994", Appendix A in Foreclosing the Future: Coal, Climate and International Public Finance: Investment in coal-fired power plants hinders the fight against global warming, Environmental Defense, April 2009.

External articles