China plans a massive restructuring of its coal industry which will see the closure of many smaller mines or their amalgamation into five to seven major conglomerates, the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC) has said.
Each of the conglomerate will have a capacity of producing more than 100 million tons of coal a year, the SDRC said in a policy paper published recently.
The success of the restructuring plan will depend on the closure and merger of the country's numerous small mines, which will be completed during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), the paper said.
The plan also aims to improve the technical standards of the mines and their efficiency in resource utilization.
By 2010, large mines shall have 95 percent of their jobs done by machines, compared to 80 percent for medium-sized mines.
The paper foresees national annual coal output reaching 2.45 billion tons by 2010, with death toll per million tons of coal reducing to 1.6.
(Xinhua News Agency May 6, 2006)