China to set minimum coal output levels to eliminate small mines
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China, the world's top coal producer, plans to phase out small mines with less than 300,000 tonnes of annual output capacity in some areas to consolidate the fragmented industry, according to a plan prepared by the National Energy Administration (NEA).
Efforts by China, the world's top coal importer, to close small coal mines in coastal regions and develop major production bases in its northern and northwestern provinces means its coastal cities will continue to rely on imported coal to help fill any supply gap.
The production capacity of coal companies in the top three coal-producing areas of Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region should be no less than 3 million tonnes per year, the agency said in a statement on its website.
Mines in southern provinces, such as Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, and Hunan, will need to have a minimum annual output of 300,000 tonnes, while the rest need production capacity of more than 600,000 tonnes.