China's National Energy Administration (NEA) greenlit four new coal mine projects in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, according to a document issued on November 24.
The four coal mines, designed with the annual production capacity of 6 million tonnes combined, should be built by replacing equal or more outdated capacity in other places. Coal preparation plants with the same scale are also built simultaneously.
This is at least the third time this year that the NEA has approved the construction of new coal projects, after giving the nod on three projects in September and another four in August.
Xinjiang is called as the "last virgin land" for coal mining development in China, with a total resource reserve of 2.2 trillion tonnes, accounting for 40% of China's total.
China has stepped up coal mine development in Xinjiang in recent years, in order to forge it as the country's another key production base after Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia.
For the purpose of environmental protection and economic growth, China has gradually for years scaled down coal capacity in southern and eastern regions while expanding construction of new capacity in the northern and western coal-rich regions.
In the first ten months, Xinjiang's coal production totaled 216.31 million tonnes, up 12.5% year on year, accounting for 6.92% of China's total.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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