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China to Close over 1,000 Unsafe Mines
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China's State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) on Friday published a list of another 1,053 unsafe coal mines to be shut after closing 651 already this year.

The list includes 220 coal mines in Hunan, 207 in Sichuan, 140 in Chongqing, 80 in Shaanxi, 79 in Guizhou, 64 in Xinjiang and 51 in Liaoning.

Small coal mines account for a third of all such operations in China but are responsible for two thirds of the deaths in mining accidents every year, said sources with the SAWS.

The authorities closed 5,931 small coal mines in 2005 and propose to shut down a further 10,000 by 2008. The schedule indicates that a total of 2,652 mines would be closed between January 2006 and June 2007 and another 2,209 from July 2007 to June 2008.

Statistics from the SAWS show a total of 17,578 unsafe non-coal mines were closed between January 1 and December 20 this year.

In 2005 the deaths of 2,342 people was recorded in the non-coal mining sector in China.

(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2006)

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