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China Closes 5,290 Coal Mine Shafts
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By Tuesday, China had reported 5,290 coal mine shafts closed or soon closed, according to sources with the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) on Wednesday.

The figure is much higher than the earlier goal of 4,000, said the work safety watchdog at a video conference.

China has suspended production of a total of 12,990 coal mine shafts for consolidation, said the SAWS.

Before Jan.1, 2006, the SAWS published a list of 2,728 coal mine shafts required to be closed in two batches.

A list of over 2,500 other coal mine shafts to be closed will be published soon, said the SAWS.

Over 23,329 coal mine enterprises have submitted applications for work safety licenses. Among them, 22,231 applications have been received. 17,111 have already received licenses.

Enterprises that did not submit an application after July 13 last year, were refused licenses previously or were confirmed as unqualified after check have to stop production for consolidation.

Coal mine gas checks and monitoring have been made in 2,296 gas-intensive shafts in 20 coal production provinces of the country.

So far, 5,711 measures for controlling coal mine gas have been proposed by experts and technological improvement projects valued at 55 billion yuan (US$6.8 billion) have been submitted to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said the SAWS.

(Xinhua News Agency January 5, 2006)

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