Disturbing Photos Of China's Coal Mines, Where Thousands Of People Die Every Year

china coal mine workers

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal. Coal has contributed to China’s pollution problem. And the coal mines are said to be the deadliest in the world, killing thousands of miners a year.

To combat the recent slump in coal prices, the coal industry is said to have asked the government to restrict coal imports to China through quality control. Some argue that the slump is being driven not by oversupply, but because of a lack of demand.

But with China continuing to industrialize at a rapid pace, the importance of coal is unlikely to diminish in the coming years.

China is the world's largest energy consumer.

Source: Goldman Sachs

It accounts for 21% of global energy use.

Source: Goldman Sachs

China is also the world's largest coal producer, accounting for over 40% of global coal production.

Source: Global Times

Coal use in China has increased by 200% in the last decade.

Source: Goldman Sachs

In fact, China is also the world's largest coal importer.

Source: Global Times

Rapid industrialisation and growth of the middle class have driven energy consumption.

The industrial sector accounts for 70% of energy use.

Workers often dig through cinder dump sites with the most rudimentary tools for usable coal.

A man rests after searching for usable coal at a cinder dump site.

China's coal industry is one of the deadliest in the world.

China's coal mine disaster death toll was about 2,000 in 2011, down from 7,000 in 2002.

But some say the figure should be closer to 20,000 a year.

Miners are seen bathing after their shift.

Coal is also a big contributor to China's pollution problem. President Xi Jinping has promised to do more to lower pollution and save the environment.

Source: Reuters

The coal factories are a hazard to locals. Here, a villager is seen herding his sheep near stockpiles of worthless rock at coal-factory.

The country is considering enforcing higher quality grades for imported coal which is expected to lower pollution and help bolster coal prices.

Source: Reuters

China is also looking to cap carbon emissions by 2016.

Source: Think Progress

Chinese coal demand is expected to slow in 2013 and remain 'soft' in coming years.

Source: FXStreet.com

Source: Goldman Sachs

Now look at what life is like for India's illegal coal miners...

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.