natural resources

Top 10 Largest Coal Producing Countries in the World

Coal is the most abundant and clean form of carbon available on the planet for energy production and generation. For decades, it has been serving as an alternative to fossil fuels and hydrocarbons. Due to its greater availability, it is quite cheaper for domestic and industrial use. Iron mills and other industries use for the extraction of metals from their ore. Since early 1880s coal mining has been done on an excessive scale and still many of the countries has enormous amounts of coal deposits which are being discovered and mined over the years.

The list of the top ten world producers is described here with few of the latest statistics of last few years. These numbers reveal that which country has the highest or the lowest reserves of coal and which country has enough resources to carry out the excessive mining projects within the country.


Kazakhstan claimed to produce a total output of 116.6 Metric tons of coal in the year 2012. It proved to be the 85% of the total installed power capacity in the country. Kazakhstan is considered as the 12th biggest coal-consuming country in the world. It also has the eight biggest deposits in the world. There are total 400 deposits in Kazakhstan. Three of its provinces Karaganda, Pavlodar, and Kostanay, are the major producing centers in the country.


In the year 2012, Poland produced 144.1 MT of coal, which made it ninth-biggest coal producing country in the world. After Germany, Poland is the second biggest coal producing country in the whole Europe. Whereas it is the eighth biggest consumer. It is responsible for the production of 85% of the Poland’s electricity generation. Europe’s biggest coal-fired power plant is also running in Poland under the supervision of the Poland’s biggest coal mining company, Kompania Weglowa. It has 5.7 Billion tons (BT) of the proven deposits under its soil.


Germany stands at eighth position as it has produced 196.2MT of coal. Country is great reserves of brown coal and hit the record of 180MT of brown coal’s production. Therefore it has become the world’s biggest brown coal producing country followed by Australia and Russia. As the rate of consumption has exceeded far more than the production so the country has also become the sixth biggest importer in the world. German claims to be having the sixth biggest deposits in the world. Ruhr Coal’s Basin and the Sahara Coal Basin accounts for more than 75% production of the country.


The total coal output of the country was about 280MT in the year 2012, making South Africa the seventh biggest coal producer in the world. South Africa is also termed as the sixth biggest exporter in the world, which approximately exports 74MT annually. Major targets of its export are big countries like India, China, and Europe. 90% of the electricity generation depends on coal. The majority of the production and mining is concentrated in the eastern parts of the country including the Witbank, Highveld, and Ermelo. SA had 30.15 BT of the total deposits up till 2012.


Russia is the sixth largest coal producing country with the production of 354.8 MT of coal annually. Steam coal shares the 80% of the total production where is the rest is coking coals. Russia is classified as the third biggest exporter, exporting 134MT of it’s production to other countries and fifth biggest consumer in the world. It has estimated to have 157BT of total proven deposits making it the second biggest country with the most of it’s reservoirs in the world. Open pit mining operation accounts for the 66% of the total coal production in the world.


Indonesia is the fifth biggest coal producing country in the world with 5.5BT of the proven reserves in the world. Coal production accounts for the 44% of its electricity production. The hub of its production in the country is The East Kalimantan region. Most of the deposits are located in Sumatra, Eat Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan.


With the production of 413MT of coal in 2012 Australia has become the fourth biggest coal producing country in the world. Out of the total production, approximately 90% of it is exported. It has 76.4BT proven coal’s reservoirs. About 74% of it comes from the open pit operations. New South Wales and Queensland has great deposits of black coal while Victoria has brown coal’s reserves.


Due to its increased production, India has succeeded to achieve the third rank in the top coal-producing countries in the world. India alone is accountable for the eight percent of the global consumption in the year 2012. India generates 68% of the electricity using coal. Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal has the most reserves accounting for the 70% of the national coal production.


The United States of America succeeded to gain second position after its production of 922MT of coal in 2012. Not only it is the second biggest coal producer, but it is also the second biggest coal-consuming country in the world use fuels .37% of electricity generation. The United States has 25 of its states carrying out coals mining operations. Due to excessive mining and newer technology the country can produce more than the others. Most of the deposits are concentrated in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.


For the last thirty years, China has maintained its position as the world’s biggest coal producing country. China accounts for 47% of the global production producing 3.6 BT of coal annually. It has the world’s biggest coal reserves in the world. It has 12000 coal producing mines stretched across almost 28 of the provinces. It accounts for the 80% of the country’s electricity production.

RankCountry/RegionCoal production
(million tonnes)
Share of
1 China3,650.046.4
2 United States922.111.7
3 India605.87.7
4 Australia431.25.5
5 Indonesia386.04.9
6 Russia354.84.5
7 South Africa260.03.3
8 Germany196.22.5
9 Poland144.11.8
10 Kazakhstan116.41.5

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