China Intensifies Push in Coal Mining Industry


"Small mine production should account for over 50% of China's coal output."

The Chinese government has urged greater efforts to consolidate coal mines to reduce the number of outdated small mines, the General Office of the State Council, China's cabinet, said Thursday citing a statement from the nation's top economic planner.

The National Development and Reform Commission ordered coal firms in major coal producing regions, including Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Henan and Shaanxi, to concentrate coal mines and eliminate outdated small mines.

It also urged the provinces of Heilongjiang, Hunan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan to accelerate merger and acquisition in the coal mining industry to reduce the number of coal companies.

China hopes to see more coal firms with an annual output capacity of 50 million tons. The total output of these mines should account for more than 50% of the country's coal mine output, the statement said without giving a specific target for the number of large firms nor a timetable for the consolidation.

He Youguo, an official with the China Coal Industry Development and Research Center, said in July the government had completed the framework for the development plan for the coal industry in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

The output of large mines with production capacities of over 50 million tons will account for 65% of the country's total by then, he said.

The Chinese government has been pushing for consolidation in the coal mining industry to reduce the number of old, unsafe mines, to improve work safety and protect the environment.

China shut 1,355 small coal mines with production capacity of 125.19 million tons in the first nine months this year, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said.

The NEA said in May 1,539 small and dangerous coal mines with 121.67 million tons of outdated capacity would be closed this year to prevent fatal accidents and reduce pollution.

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