Four bodies were found immediately after the 3:30am blast and an additional five were discovered after an eight-hour search at the Xingya coal mine, according to China’s official press agency Xinhua.
The 16 injured miners have been taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Four of the survivors were described by a local government spokesperson as “severely injured”
Xinhua said an investigation into the cause of the explosion was underway.
For the first quarter alone, official data has tallied 185 accidents resulting in 289 deaths in China’s mining sector.
Xingya is a licensed operation with a capacity to output 300,000 tons of coal per annum.
Inner Mongolia is China’s largest coal producing region.