While tensions between ethnic Mongolians and Chinese in the region have been present for decades, the escalation of the coal mining industry has created other concerns.
On May 10 herdsmen reportedly blocked a road to protest against coal haulage trucks driving over their grazing lands.
One coal truck struck and killed a herder according to the Associated Press.
Days later a group of Mongols reportedly went to a nearby coal mine to complain.
A subsequent dispute led to the second fatality when a Chinese operator drove a forklift into one of the men.
Xinhua more recently reported the local government would investigate how the coal mining industry had impacted the community, plus options to protect grasslands and improve training in the industry.
Two Chinese men were arrested over the truck-related fatality, while a Chinese miner will be charged for murder in the forklift incident.
A Beijing-based correspondent for The Irish Times reported Chinese police had imposed tight security in the region after recent days of protest.
Inner Mongolia already produces the most coal out of China’s provinces.
Reuters reported the region was expected to increase output by 130 million tonnes over the next four years as part of the national production goal to reach 3.79 billion tonnes by 2015.