Coal mining and production

Manage coal quality and inventory from pit to delivery.

Discover what ION can do for you

Over 250 million tons of coal movements are tracked using ION Commodities systems

With coal prices historically being lower than oil and gas prices, coal is likely to remain the most affordable fuel for generating power in many developing and industrialized countries. To control costs, coal supply management will become increasingly important, with major coal businesses needing to focus on the supply chain and inventory efficiency, while also managing quality specifications. ION’s coal mining solutions offer transparency of the trading lifecycle and equip companies to manage the coal quality from contract through to delivery.

Related sectors

  • Blending

    Mixing of different coal types to produce a particular output product.

  • Coal trading

    Navigating the impacts of volatile market prices and demand and supply imbalances for increased coal trading profits.

  • Consumption

    Usage of coal in power plants or in steelmaking and other processes.

  • Logistics and stockpiling

    Planning and executing movements and storage of coal.

  • Mining

    Extraction of coal seams, either from open pits or underground.

  • Processing

    Preparation plant which outputs refined coal products.

Value delivered

  • Challenge

    Reducing value chain costs

    Monitoring inventory is complex and typically managed outside of procurement systems. Businesses have to deal with multiple points of origin, significant volumes of coal in-transit, and inventory stocks of variable grades. As a result, businesses often have issues with controlling logistics and inventory. They either incur additional costs or err on the side of caution by holding too much inventory, which erodes margins.

    Solution

    Improve supply chain visibility

    Both procurement and supply chain logistics can be managed simultaneously with ION Commodities’ solutions. Deals that impact position or inventory can be captured while also tracking inventory balances by origin, product grade and quality, storage and shipping terminals, freight district, delivery location, or volumes in transit. Inventory costs are continually recalculated based on evolving conditions within the calculated composition blend analysis. This is used together with other information to better manage the value chain.

  • Challenge

    Tracking coal quality

    The quality of coal available and on hand can add a great deal of complexity to blending operations, price adjustments, delivery acceptance, and return on investment.

    Solution

    Streamline specification capture

    ION’s commodity management solutions capture all the data required to plan and track quality, determine how to best blend available materials, or to decide whether to accept or reject coal based on contract quality. This helps create a nimble, visible environment that reduces risks and promotes supply-demand success. Terms from contracts are automatically measured against qualities from the lab analysis done on deliveries. Lab analysis inputs from multiple samples, multiple shipments from varied origins and shippers can be mapped back to the contract terms. Then price adjustments can be automatically calculated for invoicing and payables. This ensures accuracy and maximum ROI.

  • Challenge

    Mitigating the impact of supplier default

    General economic conditions, the increasing price volatility of coal, and various other factors continue to create risk among suppliers. This makes it important to have plans to mitigate the possibility of supplier defaults that could adversely affect your business.

    Solution

    Devise more effective strategies

    ION’s commodity management solutions enable sophisticated tracking of the financial impact created by supplier default or related supplier force majeure events. Using our products’ configurable reports, you can quantify financial exposure by delivery period, supplier, or origin.

  • Challenge

    Siloed data

    Companies can benefit from having a singular view of positions across both physical transactions and financial derivatives used in hedging. However, these trades and transactions are often processed in separate systems. As a result, data must be extracted from each system for off-system manual calculations to determine mark-to-market or price risk exposure.

    Solution

    Gain a physical-to-financial view of positions and risk

    ION’s commodity management solutions collect and combine information automatically for straight through processing with programmable, automated tasks that coordinate both physical transactions and financial derivatives used in hedging.

Value chain clarity
Manage quality specification
Supplier default mitigation
Single integrated solution

Products

  • Aspect

    A multi-tenant, SaaS CTRM for liquid hydrocarbons and metals traders moving off spreadsheets.

  • Qmastor

    A supply chain management solution to simplify coal and mineral operations and logisitics.

  • Softmar

    A shipping solution for vessel chartering and operations, integrated with ION’s CTRMs.

  • TriplePoint

    An out-of-the-box, multi-commodity CTRM with configurable functionality.

  • WAM

    An optimization solution for supply and demand planning, integrated with ION’s CTRMs.

Latest Commodities news

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ION Commodities tops Energy Risk Software Rankings 2024 across multiple categories

3 April 2024
LONDON – 03 April 2024: ION Commodities, a leading provider of energy and ...

Chartis Research ranks ION Commodities as a leading technology provider for energy markets for the fourth time in a row

28 February 2024
London – 28 February 2024: ION Commodities, a global leader in energy and ...

ION recognized by IDC FinTech Rankings as a FastTrack FinTech company

4 December 2023
LONDON – 4 December 2023: ION, a leading global provider of trading, analytics, ...

ION Commodities wins CTRM Software House of the Year for the second consecutive year at Energy Risk Asia Awards 2023

10 October 2023
LONDON – 10 October 2023: ION Commodities, a leading provider of energy and ...

ION Commodities ranks #1 in Chartis Research’s Energy50, winning 12 awards

17 August 2023
LONDON – 17 August 2023: ION Commodities, a global leader in energy and ...

Latest Commodities awards

Chartis Research’s Energy50 survey 2024

Leading technology provider for energy markets

Energy Software Ranking 2023

Oil, Gas/LNG, power, metals and agriculture products

Energy Software Ranking 2023

Market analytics, model valuation and risk exposure management

Energy Software Ranking 2023

Emissions and green certificates