The State Administration of Coal Mine Safety is applying for a roughly 2 billion yuan ($292 million) special fund from the central government, for rectification and integration of small-sized coal mines, along with another 3 to 4 billion yuan fund for development of coal-mine methane (CMM).
"We are just going through the application process and hope there will be more fund," said Wang Shuhe, deputy administrator and chief engineer of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety.
In 2007, there were 22 serious and extraordinarily serious gas accidents occurred in China's coal mines. In the first nine month of the year, the number was 13, increased by 22.5 percent year on year.
Huan Shengchu, president of the Beijing-based China Coal Information Institute (CCII), said encouraging development of CMM is mainly in a bid to ensure safety of Chinese coal mines.