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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 13:14 GMT
China moves to curb mining deaths
Chinese miner pushing a coal cart
China's rapidly developing economy is reliant on coal
The governor of China's biggest coal producing province has said he plans to slow expansion in the industry in a bid to curb the number of mining deaths.

Shanxi province governor Yu Youjun said limiting development would reduce the number of accidents and cut pollution.

The move comes despite power shortages across China, caused largely by the demands of rapid industrial expansion.

China's coal industry has a poor safety record, with accidents claiming the lives of about 6,000 miners a year.

'Rough development'

The northern province of Shanxi was responsible for more than a quarter of all the coal produced in China last year.

But such intense production had come at a high cost, Mr Yu said.

"We cannot continue the rough way of development any more and must limit coal production strictly," he told the state-run China Daily newspaper.

Mr Yu said Shanxi province planned to keep annual coal production at about 700 million tons over the coming five years.

But he said the province would begin closing mines producing less than 90,000 tons of coal and push for greater efficiencies at other mines.

Coal is used to generate more than two-thirds of China's electricity needs, but many mines across the country remain inefficient and poorly regulated.

China, which has been undergoing rapid economic growth, has reported failures to meet power demand since 2000.

It aims for its electricity capacity to rise by 50% by 2010.

China Post Official: China's biggest coal-mining province to slow industry growth(Updated 02:05 p.m.) - 56 hrs ago
Xinhua News Agency Shanxi puts brakes on expansion of coal mining - 62 hrs ago

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