HOHHOT — China will speed up closures and mergers of small coal mines, in a bid to reduce pollution and improve energy efficiency, a senior official said on Dec 12.
Lian Weiliang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said small coal mines were unsafe and “could not make satisfactory use of coal resources.”
China has more than 7,000 coal mines with annual production capacity less than 300,000 tonnes. The excessive number has led to disruptive competition, Lian said at a national coal trade fair.
He urged coal producing regions to inspect unapproved mines and close substandard ones, and limit production of the low-quality coal blamed for much of China’s air pollution.
Coal mines breaking the law will be penalized with restrictions in project approval, land supply, mine transfer and financing, according to the official.