China is being the top country by production of hard coal in the world. As of 2012, production of hard coal in China was 3.8 million thousand short tons that accounts for 50.74 % of the world's production of hard coal. The top 5 countries (others are the United States of America, India, Indonesia, and Australia) account for 82.95 % of it. The world's total production of hard coal was estimated at 7.48 million thousand short tons in 2012.
In the United States, coals are classified by rank progressively from lignite (least carbonaceous) to anthracite (most carbonaceous) based on the proximate analyses of various properties (fixed carbon, volatile matter, heating value, and agglomerating character), following methods prescribed by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The International coal Classification of the Economic Commission for Europe recognizes two broad categories of coal, “brown coal” and “hard coal.” In terms of U.S. coal classification, the international classification of brown coal includes lignite and lower-ranked subbituminous coal, whereas hard coal includes all higher rank coals. Production data include quantities extracted from surface and underground mines, and normally exclude wastes removed at mines or associated reparation plants.