Beijing : China has closed 10,412 coal mines in the last three years as part of efforts to improve workplace safety and check over-exploitation of natural resources, the country’s top industrial safety agency has said.
Li Yizhong, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, said that 1,100 more coalmines would be shut soon.
China, the world’s largest coal producer, had been striving to improve work safety in its accident-prone coalmines.
In 2006, China produced 2.4 billion tonnes of coal. However, accidents in small mines with an annual capacity below 300,000 tonnes each have claimed 3,431 lives.
The government had set a target of closing about 10,000 small coalmines between August 2005 and mid 2008. Such mines accounted for one-third of China’s total coal output and two-thirds of the deaths from colliery accidents.