Exploration, Development, and Utilization of Coal in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has undertaken a program of investigation of its coal resources because of the cost of importing foreign oil to meet much of its energy needs. In 1982 it was decided to investigate the potential of each of the eight known coal occurrences. Reconnaissance studies determined that three had coal beds thick enough to warrant further investigation. Prefeasibility studies at the two better known deposits (Uatsi and Zent) have been completed, and a total of 50 million MT of proved and probable reserves of coal is calculated. This figure includes a small number of tons estimated for the third area, Venado. At Zent, feasibility studies have been completed and a mine design for a part of the deposit has been prepared.
The coal beds are in the thick Gatun Formation, which is of Miocene age. In rank the coal ranges from lignite to subbituminous A.
The first usage of the coal will probably be in the cement industry, but the country is considering the feasibility of other uses in the industrial and residential sector as a replacement for imported Bunker C fuel.
KeywordsBiomass Petroleum Transportation Hydrocarbon Miocene
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