Shanxi province accelerates closure of small coal mines to enhance safety Policy 2020-06-05 09:57:37

Coal mining center Shanxi province decided to shut down more small-scale coal mines permanently by the end of this year, as part of its effort to enhance coal mine safety conditions and lift concentration of coal capacity to efficient large miners.

The coal hub announced to close mines with annual production capacity below 600,000 tonnes by the end of 2020, but with the number of these mines unclear so far.

This followed the NDRC's move last year in permanently closing coal mines with annual capacity below 300,000 tonnes in Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi and Ningxia regions by end-2019, as part of Shanxi's three-year action to improve industrial safety.

Apart from this, the NDRC meanwhile decided to stop approvals of coal mines with annual capacity below 600,000 tonnes in the above four areas.

The latest tough measure came alongside a supply glut in domestic coal market since production began picking up in March after interruptions of Covid-19 pandemic were fading away.

China's raw coal production registered a robust recovery of 9.6% year on year to 337.26 million tonnes in March, with output in Shanxi rising 12.3% from a year ago to 94.79 million tonnes in the month, showed the official data.

Elimination of inefficient coal capacity is also expected to help reduce surplus supply in the market, support coal prices, increase advanced coal capacity and boost industrial concentration.

By end-2019, Shanxi's advanced coal capacity accounted for 68% of its total. And it aims to raise combined production at large mines so they account for more than 76% of the total provincial output.

By the end of this year, it will also reduce the number of coal mines to no more than 900.

(Writing by Tammy Yang  Editing by Jessie Jia)
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