Datong Coalfield is 20km southwest to Datong City in the north part of Shanxi Province. The geographic coordinates are: 112° 49′ 32″-113° 9′ 30″ east longitude and 39° 52′ - 40° 10′ north latitude. The coal area is about 1781.3 sq.km, with total reserves of 71.8 billion tonnes. Of which, the coal-bearing area in Datong City reaches 632 sq.km, and proven reserves up to 37.6 billion tonnes.
It is a coalfield composing of two systems. The lower part is Permo-Carboniferous System, while the upper part is Datong Formation of Jurassic System.
Permo-Carboniferous Mining Area (coal-bearing area) covers South Suburb District and Zuoyun County of Datong City, and Huairen, Youyu and Shanyin counties of Shuozhou City. The northeast boundary is coal outcrop; the south and southeast boundaries are coal outcrops at the west foot of Kouquan Mountain; the southwest boundary is coal outcrop in east foot of Hongtao Mountain. The zone around Shili River in the north part is the edge of coal sedimentation. The northwest is inferred to be the edge of coal sedimentation and erosion. The mining area is divided into two parts roughly by the line from Emaokou, Shuiyaoxiang, Panjiayao, to Xiaojingzhuang. The total coal-bearing area of Permo-Carboniferous Mining Area is 1700km2.
Jurassic Mining Area (coal-bearing area) covers South Suburb District and Zuoyun County of Datong City, and Huairen County of Shuozhou City. The northeast boundary is coal outcrop; the south and southeast boundaries are coal croplines at west foot of Kouquan Mountain; the west and north boundaries are inferred to be the edge of coal sedimentation and erosion. The total coal-bearing area of Jurassic Mining Area is about 800km2.
The southeast edge is Kouquan Mountain with height above sea level of 1300~1700m. Kouquan Mountain is a monoclinal mountain that is leaning northwestwardly with steep southeast side. It is a basin area surrounded by hills and belongs to loess hilly terrace with relative strong gully cuttings, mostly in V shape. The highest point is Jiankou Mountain in the south part with altitude of 1835.9m, and the lowest point is in Yungang range in the northwest part with altitude of 1100~1200m, resulting in a relative elevation of 735m.
It is mesothermal semiarid continental monsoon climate with large day-night temperature difference, dry and cold winter, and serious wind sand. The wind mainly is northwesterly and northerly followed by westerly. The wind speed is 29m/s maximally and 3m/s averagely. The highest temperature is 37.7℃ (June 10, 1961) and the lowest temperature is -29.1℃ (January 15, 1967). The annual average temperature is 6.5℃. The annual maximum rainfall is 634.7mm and the annual average rainfall is 400~500mm. The rainfall concentrates in July, August, and September. The annual amount of evaporation is 1880.1mm, which is 3~4 times of rainfall. The snow depth is 22cm over years. The freeze-up period is from the first ten days of October to the last ten days of April next year. The maximum frozen soil depth is 161cm.
Datong City is the joint of Jingbao, North Tongpu, and Daqin rail lines. It is connected with Qinhuangdao Port by Daqin Line at the north. Tongpu rail line connects with Jingyuan rail line in Yuanping and joins Shitai and Taijiao rail lines in Taiyuan. There are special coal-transporting rail lines from Datong City to Shili River and Kouquan River. The roads are composed of Dayun highway, Jingyuan highway, and No. 109 and 208 national roads. There are asphalt roads or simple roads connecting Datong with other counties such as Zuoyun, Youyu, and Shuozhou, as well as towns and relatively large villages. The communication is fairly convenient.
The degree of geological exploration in Jurassic coal-bearing area is detailed exploration. Moreover, all the coal reserves have been leased by existing mines.
Shanxi Team115, Team 228, and Datong Mineral Bureau have conducted pre-exploration (search for coal), coal prospecting, preliminary exploration and detailed exploration on Permo-Carboniferous coal-bearing area since 1954. The area of detailed exploration is 153.51 sq.km accounting for 9.20% of the total area. The area of preliminary exploration is 611.9 sq. km, accounting for 36.66% of the total area.
Currently, there are 15 coal mines in Datong Mining Area, owned by Datong Coal Mine Group, with an annual output of 50 million tones. Besides, there are 7 city-operated mines that produce 5 million tonnes output annually; and town and village-operated mines with annual output of 39 million tonnes. The present available reserve of Jurassic coal is only 5880 million tonnes, which could be mined out in 20 years. Available reserve of Carboniferous coal is 28.21 billion tonnes. Datong Coalfield mainly produces weakly-caking coal that is low in ash and sulphur content and high in heating value.