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Shanxi to Cut Coal Supply by 100 Mln

Shanxi Province, a leading coal producer in north China, will cut its coal supply by more than 100 million tons next year, according to the provincial authority on coal production.

Analysts said that the drastic decline of coal supply in 2006 can be attributed to three major reasons.

Firstly, as the number of coal mines in Shanxi was reduced to 1,200 in 2005, 30 percent less than that in the previous year, the coal output therefore will drop by 80 million tons.

Secondly, with the efficient crackdown on illegal coal mining, about 2,200 mines have been shut down and another 1,080 mines will be closed, which will lead to a decline of 30 million tons.

Furthermore, in a bid to ensure safety in production, the province will continuously curb over production of coal next year, which is expected to result in a loss of 10 million tons of coal.

The province will also tighten control on coal circulation, barring coal mines and their products without new licenses from market. Next year, the coal supply in Shanxi will basically meet social demands, but several types may be in short supply, analysts said.

Statistics show that, as China's major coal producer, Shanxi has proven coal reserve of 272.5 billion tons, accounting for one third of the country's total.

From 2000 to 2004, Shanxi's annual coal output has maintained an average growth of 30 million tons. In 2004, the coal output of the province reached 493 million tons, a quarter of China's total.

(Xinhua News Agency December 17, 2005)

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