BEIJING, March 14 China's Shanxi province has
launched a new campaign against illegal coal mining, according
to a document seen by Reuters on Tuesday, as one of China's top
producing regions seeks to get tough on cutting overcapacity.
Shanxi province accounts for a quarter of China's coal
output and has pledged to cut 20 million tonnes of overcapacity
this year as part of Beijing's plan to remove 150 million tonnes
across the whole industry as it battles smog and tries to make
heavy industry more efficient.
But recent price gains have tempted some coal mines into
producing more than they have been allowed, the Shanxi
Administration of Coal Mine Safety and the Shanxi Coal Industry
Bureau said in the document, dated March 12.
Two sources who received the document confirmed its
The agencies declined to comment when asked to confirm the
"We will pay surprise visits, sometimes at night, and
increase the frequency checks on state-owned mines," they said
in the document.
Coal mines that are still subject to production limits
should operate 276 days a year or at 84 percent of their
capacity, they said.
In addition, coal mines that are vulnerable to seismic
activity should operate at 80 percent of the capacity.
News of the stricter controls on production provided further
support to coal prices, analysts said.
Most-active May futures rallied over 3 percent to
619 yuan per tonne, their highest since the contract launched in
The Shanxi authorities said in the document that they had
found some coal mine operators using "fake invoices, fake data,
fake graphics" to avoid supervision, and some mines that had
been shut down had been reopened.
The Shanxi government will suspend production for at least
one month at coal mines that produce 10 percent more than
Coal mines that reported more than one major accident over a
three-month period will be closed if they are still operating,
(Reporting by Meng Meng and Josephine Mason; Editing by Greg