According to a statement from a regional administration of coal mine safety, the Peoples Republic of China's northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has replaced neighboring Shanxi province as the country's biggest producer of coal. Inner Mongolia also contains the country's largest verified coal reserves of 700 Bt, which is more than double Shanxi's.
In 2009, Inner Mongolia reported coal output of 637 Mt, 22 Mt more than Shanxi, China's top coal producing region for 30 years. Inner Mongolia's coal production increased 37% year on year and it is expected to hit 730 Mt in 2010.
Both regions are reducing the number of collieries. Since 2004, Inner Mongolia has cut its collieries from 2009 to 501. In 2009, Shanxi closed collieries with capacity lower than 300,000 t/y.