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Guizhou to close 120 coal mines in 2017

By Chen Meiling in Beijing and Yang Jun in Guiyang ( China Daily )

Updated: 2017-01-25

Guizhou province, one of the major coal suppliers in southwestern China, plans to close 120 coal mines and cut coal capacity by 15 million metric tons in 2017 to answer the nation's call to tackle excess production in the sector.

"Although the coal industry contributes 15 percent to the province's GDP, the government has decided to cut inefficient and outdated capacity, to promote industrial restructuring and to make room for the development of service-related industries such as big data and healthcare," said Zhang Yingwei, director of the energy bureau of Guizhou, during the Guizhou Provincial People's Congress.

Guizhou surpassed the 2016 coal capacity reduction target by 11 percent through mergers and reorganization of coal companies, he said.

According to the Central Economic Work Conference held in December, China will continue to reduce overcapacity in the coal and steel industries by closing down zombie factories and promoting mergers.

Ye Fei, deputy general manager of Guizhou Panjiang Investment Holdings Group Co Ltd, a major State-owned coal enterprise based in Guizhou, said no employee lost their jobs even though eight mines were closed down in the past two years.

Among the 4,887 employees involved, some were reassigned new posts after training, some got early retirement, Ye said.

Luo Dan worked for 10 years at Guizhou Panjiang's Laowuji coal mine. In 2013, the mine was closed and Luo was sent to the Shanjiaoshu mine run by Guizhou Panjiang Refined Coal Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the company.

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