Guangdong to close down all coal mines

Beijing, September 16:

Southern China’s Guangdong province will cease all coal mining, state media reported on Friday, following a disaster that killed 123 people in August. The report comes amid renewed pledges to adopt tough measures to regulate the country’s coal industry, which has long suffered from lax standards and high fatality rates.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that Guangdong authorities decided to cease operations at 141 mines. They would join the 112 facilities already shut down because they lacked appropriate safety certificates, the agency said. Total coal production in Guangdong amounted to eight million tonnes last year, Xinhua said, accounting for less than one per cent of China’s overall coal output. In August, 123 miners were killed when a flood swept through the province’s Daxing Coal Mine, provoking an outcry over the government’s failure to fully enforce safety standards at the local level.