7th January 2014  The Chinese Government has launched a new plan to increase safety at its coal mines in the wake of further tragedies.

Over the weekend four people died in two coal mine explosions across the country and last month a gas explosion at an underground coal mine in western China’s Xinjiang region killed 22 people in in one of the deadliest accidents of the year. The Chinese Government recently released new information citing 2013 as the industry’s safest year yet, with a reported decline in figures of over 24 percent.

China currently has the world’s deadliest coal mines; last year there were 589 mining accidents leaving 1049 people dead or missing. According to the State Administration of Work Safety this indicates a decline, from 1300 fatalities in 2012 and 1973 fatalities in 2011, though these figures do not include those missing.

In an effort to lower numbers even more, the government launched a ‘nationwide safety overhaul’ to develop better working conditions on site and in turn prevent more deadly accidents.

It has already begun taken major steps with the announcement that it will close at least 2000 smaller coal mines by 2015, including those with lower quality coal and questionable safety records.

This comes after it carried out another cull in 2012, which saw the shutdown of 628 smaller coal mines, as well as the forced enhancement of technological efficiencies at 622 mines, and the amalgamation of 388 other mines

Source: http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/china-launches-new-coal-safety-plan