China's top safety watchdog said Thursday that coal mines with an annual output of 90,000 tonnes or less will not be allowed to resume production until their gas control capabilities conform to national standards.
Accidents including coal and gas outbursts and explosions have been frequent occurrences in the country's small-sized mines, especially those with an annual output of 90,000 tonnes or less.
All these mines should stop production to improve their working conditions, the State Administration of Work Safety said in a statement on its website.
Small mines will be merged with qualified mines or even shut down if their gas control capabilities cannot meet required standards, according to the statement.
Severe punishments will be given to those unlicensed mines which continue to operate illegally.
Local authorities should step up monitoring of the mining industry, punish those mines that violate safety rules and accelerate the assessment of the small mines' gas control capabilities, according to the statement.