China’s State Administration of Work Safety said Thursday that it will close down 2,000 small-scale coal mines by 2015 as part of efforts to improve coal mine safety, Xinhua news agency reported. At present, there are 772 coal-producing counties in 26 provinces in China. According to the work safety watchdog, nearly 90 percent of the safety incidents between 2008 and 2012 came from mines in Guizhou province. There are still 7,501 coal mines in China with an annual production capacity of 90,000 tons or lower, accounting for 57 percent of the country’s mines but only 12 percent of the overall production capacity. However, casualties from these small mines made up for 70 percent of the total figures, the report said.
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