A total of 1,150 illegal and small coalmines in the Chinese capital of Beijing had been closed from 1997 to 2002.
The figure accounted for 84.3 percent of the coalmines in the city before 1997, according to a meeting on coalmines being held in Beijing.
At present, Beijing has 213 coalmines, of which 6 are state-run mines and the others are operated by towns or villages.
According to the Beijing Municipality Administration of Production Safety (BMAPS), 21 people died in coal mine accidents in Beijing last year, which meant two people were killed in producing every million tons of coal in the city.
BMAPS Director Li Jianwei said further checks on production safety in coalmines will be carried out this year. Coalmines that fail to meet relevant safety and management requirements will be closed.
(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2003)