China is cleaning up its coal industry at an astonishing pace

State news provider Xinhua reports the China National Coal Association (CNCA) has announced that the number of China’s large-scale coal ventures decreased by 1,500 to 6,200 in 2012 through a number of measures.

China shut down 628 small coal mines, improved technological processes of 622 mines, merged 388 mines and phased out 97.8 million tons of outdated production facilities during the year.

Rapid consolidation in the industry saw the proportion of coal output from the top eight large coal enterprises increase by 3.2% to just over 30% of the nation's total annual production.

The CNCA also announced production in the country – the globe's number one importer and producer of coal – reached 3.66 billion tonnes in 2012, up by 4% compared to the year before.