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NE China province plans to close 7 coal mines in 2017

Updated: Aug 10,2017 9:34 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The northeastern province of Heilongjiang, a major coal production base in China, will shut down seven coal mines in 2017 in response to a government capacity-cut drive, according to a statement on the website of the National Energy Administration (NEA).

As of the end of July, production had been halted at five mines, the provincial economic planner told Wang Xiaolin, deputy head of the NEA, during his recent research tour to the region.

In a plan released by the provincial government last year, Heilongjiang has promised to close 44 mines in the coming three to five years to cut coal production capacity by 25.67 million tonnes.

The move came as tackling overcapacity in bloated sectors such as coal and steel has been among the top priorities for policymakers in recent years.

Last year, China eliminated coal production capacity by over 290 million tonnes and steel by more than 65 million tonnes, both beating government annual targets.

In 2017, China plans to slash coal production capacity by at least 150 million tonnes and steel by around 50 million tonnes.