China's Shandong ramps up industrial safety checks after gold mine blast

BEIJING, Jan 29 (Reuters) - China’s northeastern province of Shandong plans to launch inspections of key industrial sectors in a bid to uncover safety risks after a gold mine explosion killed at least ten miners, state-backed media said on Friday.

The inspections by emergency management authorities of the coastal province will run until June 30, spotlighting sectors such as non-coal mines, hazardous chemicals, fireworks and metallurgy, media said.

The plans set out key points for inspection and remediation such as preventing underground collapses, water penetration and tailings dam failures.

“For companies’ hidden risks that fail to be rectified on time, all production will be suspended for rectification until closure,” media said.

The plans issued by the regulator highlight major areas for remediation of hazardous chemical products, fireworks and firecrackers.

The authorities will also look into iron and steel smelting, nonferrous alloy casting and other metallurgical processing and equipment.

A Jan. 10 blast in a gold mine in the province’s Qixia region trapped 22 miners about 600 m (1,969 ft) underground. Eleven of these were rescued, ten were reported dead and one was missing.

The National Mine Safety Administration dispatched a panel on Wednesday to look into the accident, which had not been reported to emergency authorities until 30 hours afterwards. (Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)