China approved the construction of more than 100 million tons of new coal production capacity in 2013 - six times more than a year earlier and equal to 10 percent of U.S. annual usage - flying in the face of plans to tackle choking air pollution.
The scale of the increase, which only includes major mines, reflects Beijing's aim to put 860 million tons of new coal production capacity into operation over the five years to 2015, more than the entire annual output of India.
(Read more: China's coal use slated to jump 37% by 2020)
While efforts to curb pollution mean coal's share of the country's energy mix is set to dip, the total amount of the cheap and plentiful fuel burned will still rise.
According to data compiled by Reuters, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top planning authority, approved the construction of 15 new large-scale coal mines with 101.3 million tons of annual capacity in 2013.