June 10, 2019 / 11:50 AM / 8 days ago

China to reduce output at coal mines at risk of 'bumps' by 20%

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s National Energy Administration said on Monday it will curb output by 20% at coal mines at risk of “bumps”, or sudden jolts inside a mine that often lead to serious damage and injuries.

China has 400 million tonnes a year of coal mining capacity at risk of bumps - more than 10% of the country’s total capacity of 3.53 billion tonnes, according to official data.

The administration said in a statement on its website that production curbs would be implemented on mines that are more than 1,000 meters deep.

The move follows an announcement from the National Coal Mine Safety Administration last month capping output at mines deemed at risk of ‘bumps’ to 8 million tonnes.

Bumps occur when rock and coal erupt from the side of a mine shaft or tunnel under pressure from overhead rock.

Coal mining safety in China remains poor, with several deadly accidents every year, despite frequent inspections and support from Beijing to improve conditions.

An accident in a coal mine in northeast Jilin province on Sunday killed nine, and injured 10 people.

Nearly two-thirds of mines at risk for bumps are located in regions with lean coal resources, making them key to ensuring sufficient coal supply in those areas.

Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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