Nine in ten coal mines small and poorly-equipped
( 2003-11-14 21:53) (Xinhua)
Chinese authorities have shut
down more than 15,400 small, dangerous coal mines across the country, but over
23,500 such mines + 90 percent of the national total + are still operating, the
chief work safety official said Friday.
Wang Xianzheng, director of the State Administration of Production Safety,
disclosed that 257 accidents occurred in illegally run small coal mines in the
first three quarters, leaving 511 people dead.
He noted that small township coal mines were usually poorly- equipped and
employed untrained farmers, posing huge safety risks.
The mushrooming number of small mines meant China's coal industry was
scattered and widespread. Usually, major state-owned colliery had, on average,
an annual capacity of about 1.4 million tons, and smaller state-owned mines had
a capacity of some 120,000 tons, whereas township-level small mines had a
production scale of merely 18,000 tons, said Wang.