27 Jul 2009 13:51

Serious coalmine accidents down in Shanxi

Shanghai. July 27. INTERFAX-CHINA - The number of serious coalmine accidents in Shanxi Province in the first half of this year fell by 38 percent from the same period a year ago, according to local government statistics released on July 25.

In the first six months of 2008, there were 52 coalmine accidents in Shanxi that were classified as "serious," indicating that one or more coalminers were killed or injured in the accident.

"The sharp drop in coalmine accidents over the past six months came at the cost of closing many small-scale coalmines and substantially capping the province's coal output," a representative from the Shanxi Coal Industry Bureau (SCIB), who wished to remain anonymous, said.

As a result, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region replaced Shanxi as China's largest coal producing region in the first half of the year, the representative said.

Inner Mongolia produced 268 million tons of coal in the first half, increasing by 25.9 percent year-on-year, according to Inner Mongolia Coal Industry Bureau (IMCIB) statistics.

Shanxi's coal output in the first half has not been officially released, though it is estimated to be around the 250 million-ton mark, the SCIB representative said. In the first five months of the year, Shanxi produced 204 million tons of coal.

Shanxi was China's second-largest coal producer in the first half, followed by Shaanxi, Henan and Shandong provinces, the representative said.