China vows to intensify coal mine safety
Updated: 2006-04-05 16:23 The Chinese government has
announced it will shut down all small coal mines by the end of 2007, as it tries
to encourage smaller mines to merge with larger, more safety-conscious ones,
state media reported Wednesday.
All mines with an annual production capacity under 30,000 tons (27,215 metric
tons) will be closed, the China Daily newspaper said.
"Large firms usually pay more attention to work safety," the paper
paraphrased Zhao Tiechui, director of the State Administration of Coal Mine
Safety, as saying as he announced the new rule on Monday.
In the first three months of 2006, nine coal mine accidents caused the deaths
of 161 workers, the administration said in a report on its Web site dated
Monday. The death toll was 61 percent lower than the same period last year, when
413 workers died, it said.
The government says small mines produce 38 percent of the country's total
coal output but are responsible for three-quarters of all