Central China's Henan Province has vowed to shut down about 1,000 small and illegal coal mines with poor production safety guarantees by the end of 2006, in an effort of rectifying and overhauling local coal enterprises.
The total number of coal mines will be controlled at 560 in the province, according to the regulations set by the provincial government.
A local village-run coal mine engaged in illegal mining resulted in a fatal colliery flooding accident on December 2 which trapped 42 miners underground in Xin'an county of the province.
Under the rules which became effective on Monday, collieries without complete necessary certificates, licenses and safety production permits are required to be closed down before the end of December.
Governments at different levels in the province will be responsible of supervising dismantling of the substandard coal mines and ensuring their closure within one month, the regulation said.
In addition, the coal mines with hidden perils, such as those operating in excess of capacity and those with gas concentration above the safety standards are ordered to suspend operation for rectification.
Henan provincial government has planned to complete the streamlining of its coal industry by the end of 2006, which will close a total of 1,000 small and illegal coal mines, leaving only 560 major ones operational.
(Xinhua News Agency December 6, 2005)