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China to revise mine safety law after fatal accidents

18th September 2023

By: Reuters

  

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BEIJING - China's mine safety administration is drafting revisions to the country's mining safety law, an official said on Monday, after two coal mine accidents killed more than 60 people this year.

The law, implemented in 1993 and revised in 2009, has some "prominent problems", Xue Jianguang, a director at the State Administration of Mine Safety, told a press briefing.

He did not disclose further details of the planned changes or when they would be implemented, but he described the revision as "comprehensive".

China's coal mines are among the most dangerous in the world. A gas explosion in northwestern Shaanxi province in August caused 11 deaths and an open-pit mine collapse in northern China's Inner Mongolia region in February resulted in 53 fatalities.

China's cabinet this month prohibited the construction of new coal mines with complex geology and capacity below 900 000 metric tons per year. Smaller mining operations are considered to be particularly high risk.

The country is also promoting greater use of machines and automated monitoring facilities to improve safety and reduce casualties, such as at the Hongliulin mine, run by state-owned Shaanxi Coal Group, where tech giant Huawei has installed 5G technology that reduces the number of workers underground.

Edited by Reuters

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