May 7, 2019 / 3:07 AM / 4 months ago

China's state planner to cut number of small coal mines to less than 800 by 2021

FILE PHOTO: Smoke is seen from a chimney of a heating plant on a heavy hazy day in Beijing, December 7, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s state planner will ramp up closures of small coal mines to boost safety and reduce pollution, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Tuesday, shutting down more mines with annual capacity of less than 300,000 tonnes.

The total number of such mines will fall to less than 800 by 2021, the NDRC said in statement on the website. It will also close all mines producing less than 300,000 tonnes a year in China’s top coal-producing regions, including Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Ningxia, by the end of this year.

Beijing is also seeking to close mines that have low reserve quality and have been less competitive in regions such as Heilongjiang, Hubei and Hunan, the NDRC said.

Reporting by Meng Meng and Dominique Patton; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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