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 commodity management solutions 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 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 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 at once in 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 manage the value chain better.

  • 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 best to blend available materials, or decide whether to accept or reject coal based on contract quality. Terms from contracts are automatically measured against qualities from the lab analysis 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 the 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 logistics.

  • 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.

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Latest Commodities awards

RiskTech100 2022

Commodity Trading

RiskTech100 2022

Commodity Trading Risk Management (CTRM)

Stevie Awards 2021

Customer Service Department of the Year

Energy50 2021

Overall Winner