CHINA TOPIX

Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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China to Shut Down 1,725 Small Coal Mines

In an urgent effort to arrest the worsening air quality across China, some 1,725 small-scale mines with low-quality coal output will be closed. These mines to be shuttered yield nearly 117 million tons annually.

The decision to close down these mines was issued by the National Energy Administration (NEA) as part of the national effort to cut the smog that threatens various Chinese cities and even rural areas.

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There is an on-going effort in China to improve its energy generation process by moving away from coal fired power plants.

The use of coal to generate electricity is one of the largest contributors to deadly air particulates circulating across Chinese cities and countryside.

Beijing aims to shut down old and nearly depleted mines in the Eastern regions of the country, consolidate the output of coal into "coal energy bases" in the remotest section of the country that includes Xinjiang province and Inner Mongolia.

Local governments are being encouraged to promote mergers of local mines, introduce technology innovation as well as additional safety procedures into the coal mining industry.

NEA also instructed municipalities to make available the specifics and procedures for any pit closure that will be undertaken including disposal plans of toxic tailings.

The energy agency is pursuing its transparency programs and improving its enforcement capabilities.

Municipalities were earlier given orders to shut down coal mining facilities that yield less than 90,000 tons a year, mines that have no permits, and projects that do not comply with environmental & safety standards.

China aims to reduce the dependence on coal power plants in its energy grid to less than 65 percent by the end of this year.

However, under its five year energy plan from 2011 to 2015, China intends to allow construction of facilities for an additional 860 million ton coal production.

By 2015, China aims to produce 4.1 billion tons from 3.7 Billion in 2013.

China's coal yield is expected to grow as new mine projects with a potential high yield were given the greenlight by Beijing.

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