Northern China's Shanxi province mandated three coal mines to suspend for rectification after fatal accidents occurred, according to three separate documents issued from November 29 to December 1.
On November 22, four workers were killed at a coal mine operated by CCPS, a subsidiary of China National Coal Group in Shuozhou city. A worker entered an auxiliary alley without permission, resulting in fainting from asphyxiation, and three others fainted when they entered for rescue. They were dead after medical treatment.
Prior to the accident, the state coal mine had been operating normally. Its approved production capacity is 10 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa).
The government required the coal mine to suspend for no shorter than three months to check any safety loopholes to avoid major accidents from happening again. Two government crew members are sent to the mine for supervision.
Its first-level safety title, the highest of three-tied safety evaluation system, is revoked, suggesting it will meet difficulties in capacity expansion in the future.
On November 26, Liulin Xinfei Xiashanmao Coal Industry Co reported a death. Before this, the private coal mine allegedly concealed an accident in 2019, which killed a 53-year-old worker. The coal mine is located in Liulin, Luliang city, with a production capacity of 1.2 Mtpa, Sxcoal data showed.
The document did not mention the duration for the suspension, but that operations could resume after passing the later government verification. Its first-level safety title is stripped.
The government also temporarily shut a coal mine, named Shanxi Lingshi Hongxing Wansheng Coal Industry, as it concealed a flooding accident that happened on August 18, 2022, which caused two people dead.
The suspension should last no less than one month, according to the document. During the period, all underground mining operations are not allowed. Two people are sent for supervision.
The coal mine also needs to pass the government verification before it resumes normal work. The mine's approved capacity is 0.9 Mtpa, Sxcoal data showed.
As of February 2022, Shanxi had 689 coal mines in operation, with the combined capacity of 1,060.4 Mtpa. This included 680.45 Mtpa for thermal coal and 379.95 Mtpa for coking coal, Sxcoal complied according to government documents. The province had nine coal mines with the capacity of 10 Mtpa and above.
The three mines accounted for 1.14% of Shanxi's total production capacity, suggesting their suspension won't have a big impact on the province's production.
In January-October, Shanxi produced 1.07 billion tonnes of coal, up 7.9% from the same period last year.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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