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Revision of law to boost mine safety in China

January 28, 2005
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Revision of a 9-year-old coal-mining law in China will help ensure that mining becomes more efficient and safety is improved, according to officials preparing the legislation, reports China Daily.

The lack of a well-coordinated development plan on mining coal — a major energy resource for China — has been blamed for waste in coal gathering and consumption practices, said Huang Shengchu, president of the China Coal Information Institute.

Inefficient investment in safety equipment and unawareness of workplace safety are cited by Huang as major reasons for causing frequent accidents in coal mines.

With more than 6,000 people killed in coal-mine accidents just last year, the sector has been rightly called the most dangerous job in China.

The new legislation is expected to provide a solid legal backing to help solve the problems the nation's mines face, said Si Posen, deputy director at the institute.

Si is now heading a team that is responsible for conducting an investigation and feasibility study for revising the law, which became effective in 1996.

An official with the Energy Bureau of National Development and Reform Commission confirmed that the country's highest leadership has shown commitment to creating the new legislation in order to better regulate coal mining and protect resource reserves.

The amended law will increase requirements for improving the safety record in the sector, said Huang, who insisted that the new law will outlaw those operators who do not invest enough capital in work safety in their mines.

Both Huang and Si said the law will raise market entrance requirements for mine operators and force operators to treasure resources.

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