According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China coal output grew 28.1% year-on-year to more than 751 million metric tons (mt) in the first quarter. Xinhua Online reported the increase indicates China has built up a large coal production capacity after a rapid growth in fixed asset investment for coal. The report estimates China total coal production capacity has exceeded 3.6 billion mt. Mergers and acquisitions in coal-rich areas such as Shanxi Province, Henan Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region are expected to create large coal mine groups and further raise the nation’s coal production.