The People's Republic of China is the largest producer of coal in the world, while the United States contains the world's largest 'recoverable' coal reserves (followed by Pakistan, Russia, China, and India). China and the United States are also among the largest coal consumers. Other important coal producing countries include Australia, India, South Africa, and Russia.
Coal mining in the United States has historically had economic and cultural dominance in regions such as the Allegheny Mountains and Appalachian Mountains, where it was a major part of identity and traditions. The replacement of workers by mechanization has had major consequences for the industry and for the people it affects.
Coal is mined in the Appalachian Mountains region, and the Midwest. Most coal now produced in the United States is mined in western surface mines, especially in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. A surface mining method often used in the Appalachians is mountaintop removal mining.
The states with the largest recoverable coal reserves are, in descending order, Wyoming, West Virginia, Illinois, and Montana. The largest single mine in the United States is the North Antolope Rachelle near Gillette, Wyoming; it produces more coal annually than many states. In 2009, it alone produced over 100 million tons of coal, and has plans to produce 130 million ton in 2012 more than 23 other coal producing states including Pennsylvania.
Areas with significant coal mining activities include:
United Kingdom - Britain had major coal-mining activity in the past, but since the 1980s coal mining has been in decline due to the increased use of natural gas in power stations and cheaper imports. Very few working coal mines and open-cast quarries now exist in Britain.
The Jiu Valley is a coal-mining region.
Kolubara and Kostolac are coal mining regions. The REMBAS region near the Resava River is a coal-mining region.
The Ruhr Area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Lusatia, and the Central Germany lignite mining area are some of the coal-mining regions. End of 2010 there were five operating hard coal mines in Germany: 1: Bergwerk Ibbenbüren, Ibbenbüren, 2: Zeche Auguste Viktoria, Marl, 3: Bergwerk Prosper-Haniel, Bottrop, 4: Bergwerk West, Kamp Lintfort, 5: Bergwerk Saar, Saarlouis.
Germany's last operating black coal mine, Prosper-Haniel, closed on Dec. 21, 2018.
The sillon industriel contains the former coal-mining area, Pays Noir, or "Black Country." It runs across Wallonia, passing from Dour, in Borinage, in the west, to Verviers in the east, through Mons, La Louvière, Charleroi, Namur, Huy, and Liège, following the valleys of the rivers Haine, Sambre, Meuse and Vesdre. It is also known as the "Sambre and Meuse valley", or the "Haine-Sambre-Meuse-Vesdre valley", or the "dorsale wallonne."
Australia contains 76 billion tonnes of coal reserves, or approximately 8 percent of known worldwide deposits. Australian coal deposits include both lignite (brown coal) and black coal. The premier producing areas for Australian coal are the Bowen Basin in the state of Queensland, the Hunter Region in the state of New South Wales, and the Latrobe Valley in the state of Victoria. 
China is currently the world's largest coal miner, and it is also the largest consumer of coal in the world. China’s coal output has continued to increase and its production capacity has expanded at an unprecedented rate, with an annual increase in production of 200 million tonnes on average. In 2012, the total output of coal reached 3.66 billion tonnes. However, based on China’s existing coal mining technologies, this level of output greatly exceeds the sustainable coal production capacity in terms of resources, the environment, and safety. Behind this huge production statistic are excessive waste of coal resources, a large number of casualties among workers, and serious damage to water resources and the environment. These problems are the basis of resistance for the continued development of China’s coal industry.
Mongolia has proven reserves of 12.2 billion tons of coal including 2 billion tons of coking coal and 10.1 billion tons of thermal coal. Mongolia is estimated to have potential coal reserves of some 100 billion metric tonnes. While Mongolia's output is approximately only 5 million tonnes of coal per year, it will grow significantly given its proximity to China.
India has some of the largest reserves of coal in the world (approx. 267 billion tonnes ). The energy derived from coal in India is about twice that of energy derived from oil, whereas worldwide, energy derived from coal is about 30% less than energy derived from oil.
The top producing states are:
Other notable coal-mining areas include:
The discovery of a vast deposit in Sindh Province in the 1990s, has led to a JORC resource, in the region of 175 Billion tonnes, work is ongoing with production expected to commence in 2013, with several foreign companies competing to mine various blocks of the resource.
In South Africa coal is mined in several regions, mainly in the East Rand around Witbank, in the Vaal valley around the Vaal Triangle, the Waterberg in the Limpopo Province and at Dundee and Newcastle in northern KwaZulu Natal. South Africa is currently the leading African coal producer.
Russia is currently the fifth largest producer of coal, and has the second largest reserves, estimated at 175 billion. The majority of its coal is located behind the Ural Mountains in Siberia. By 1999 approximately a third of coal mining business was privatized. Since then, the industry has concentrated in hands of few companies - coking coal producers were integrated with steel makers, and two national leaders in steam coal emerged. Russian coal miners have recently campaigned for improvements in their working conditions, leading to some reform. Mechel controls the Southern Kuzbass Coal Company in Kuznetsk, the Elga Coal Field in the Sakha Republic with 2.2 billion metric tons of reserves of coal, and the Neryungrinsky coal mine at Neryungri in the Sakha Republic. Other coal producing regions include the Pechora basin of brown coal in northern European Russia, the Kansk-Achinsk basin with total reserves 600 billion tons of lignite centered on Kansk in southern Krasnoyarsk Krai, Tunguska coal basin in eastern Siberia located between the Khatanga River to the Trans-Siberian railway and between the Yenisei and Lena rivers, and the Lena coal basin which is mainly in the Sakha Republic with some in Krasnoyarsk Krai.
Canada holds 78 billion tonnes of coal, primarily bituminous and sub-bituminous, though Saskatchewan holds significant reserves of lignite coal. The Elk Valley, located in the southeast corner of British Columbia, is host to one of the world's largest deposits of hard coking coal. Five mines are operated by the Teck mining company in this area.