Chinese safety blitz

THE Chinese government aims to close down at least 2000 small coal mines by the end of 2015 as part of a safety push.
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A chinese coal miner, Guizhou Province in South West China

Blair Price

The goal to close down at least 2000 mines, which produce less than 90,000 tonnes, was part of a statement from China’s Cabinet according to Xinhua.

While the small operations are more likely to have safety incidents, the government also reportedly plans to stop approving for any coal projects with less than 300,000t per annum of capacity and for less than 900,000tpa projects that are based on substandard coal resources that “are prone to accidents”.

“To protect workers' lives and appease the growing public anger, the government has taken iron-fisted measures to reshuffle small pits – which are responsible for two-thirds of annual accidents – and intensify punishment for government and company officials accountable for the disasters,” the Chinese news outlet reported.

About 1384 people died in Chinese coal mine accidents in 2012.