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Shanxi Closes over 4,500 Small Coal Mines
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North China's Shanxi Province has shut down more than 4,500 small coal mines and formed a number of large-scale coal enterprises or groups over the past five years, said sources with the provincial coal work conference Thursday.

Vice governor Jin Shanzhong said at the conference that Shanxi stopped the running of 4,578 small coal mines with low productivity, high energy cost and serious safety problems.

At the same time, more than 2,600 mines were ordered to improve their production procedures with modern technologies.

The official said while the small coal mines are closed down, two coal mine groups as well as some large enterprises have been set up, accounting for about one half of Shanxi's coal production.

Jin said 1,200 coal mines without the production safety permits issued by the provincial government will be closed down this year.

(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2006)

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