MAC: Mines and Communities

Chinese coal miner deaths go down - by a third

Published by MAC on 2013-03-05
Source:, Reuters, Xinhua

However, eleven workers die at a Hebei mine in February

The Chinese regime continues to send mixed messages (and statistics) to its citizens and the world at large.

While stating that coal worker fatalities have dropped by just over a third since 2011, the country's overall use of the black stuff increased by nearly 4% over the same period, while coal imports grew by 20%.

Just a week after the release of these figures, carbon monoxide was reported to have killed eleven miners at coal mine in Hebei Province.

The government has also promised to introduce a compulsory insurance scheme, for heavily-polluting companies - including those in the mining and smelting sectors. The aim is to force the provision of adequate compesation for those which cause environmental harm.

Coal deaths drop by one-third says China's statistics bureau

Michael Allan McCrae

24 February 2013

China's GDP was up 7.8% but mining investment lagged other sectors, according to recent economic figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.

The bureau estimated that fixed asset investment in mining was up 11.8%, below the average investment of 20.6% in other sectors.

Natural gas consumption for energy was up sharply in China, while coal use grew more slowly.

"Preliminary estimation indicated that the total energy consumption in 2012 amounted to 3.62 billion tons of standard coal equivalent, up 3.9 percent over 2011. The consumption of coal grew by 2.5 percent; crude oil, up 6.0 percent; natural gas, up 10.2 percent; and electric power, up 5.5 percent. The national energy consumption per 10,000 yuan worth of GDP went down by 3.6 percent."

Imports of coal, however, were up sharply at 20.2%. Importation of copper and copper alloys only grew 4.9%. See table 8 below.

The death toll, measured in deaths per one million tons of coal mined, was down to 0.374 person, a drop of 33.75 from 2011.

The overall death toll from industrial accidents declined more modestly.

"The death toll due to work accidents amounted to 71,983 people, a year-on-year decrease of 4.7 percent. The death toll from work accidents every 100 million yuan worth of GDP was 0.142 people, a decline of 17.9 percent. Work accidents in industrial, mining and commercial enterprises caused 1.64 deaths out of every 100 thousand employees, down 12.8 percent."

China's consumers are becoming more wealthy. The use of gold and silver in jewelry was up 16%.

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills 11 in coal mine


2 March 2013

Carbon monoxide poisoning killed 11 people, after an air compressor caught fire in a coal mine in North China's Hebei Province, local authorities said Friday.

Two miners have been missing since the accident occurred at 8 pm on Thursday in a coal mine in Huailai county of Zhangjiakou, said a spokesman with the city government.

Thirteen miners were working underground at the time of the accident.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The mine belongs to Zhangkuang Group, a subsidiary of Jizhong Energy Group Co Ltd.

Zhao Heping, general manager of Zhangkuang Group, has been removed from his post. Further punishments will be meted out at the conclusion of the investigation, said the spokesman.


China to push compulsory insurance for polluting industries

Ben Blanchard


22 February 2013

China will force heavily polluting industries to participate in a compulsory insurance program to ensure they can adequately provide compensation for damage, the government said on Thursday.

Pollution has become a core concern for the stability-obsessed ruling Communist Party because of the public anger and protests it generates and because the issue cannot easily be hidden from view.

Companies that must participate in the scheme include mining and smelting industries, lead battery manufacturers, leather goods firms and chemical factories, the Environment Ministry and China Insurance Regulatory Commission said in a joint statement.

Petrochemical companies and firms that make hazardous chemicals and hazardous waste would also be encouraged to participate, it added.

Special environmental protection funds would be allocated to companies taking out the insurance, and they would be given priority for bank lending, the statement said.

Companies which don't apply for the insurance may face negative environmental impact assessments and credit downgrades, which could hamper their development, it added.

A pilot insurance program currently covered more than 2,000 companies across a dozen provinces and had underwritten some 20 billion yuan ($3.21 billion) in risk, the government departments said.

"Using the tool of insurance ... is conducive towards pushing companies to raise their environmental risk management and reduce incidents of polluting accidents," it added.

The insurance scheme follows a spate of rules aimed at cleaning up the country's notoriously filthy environment.

The issue has sprung back in focus during a particularly smoggy winter that has renewed widespread concern over China's environmental problems.

Air quality levels in Beijing and other northern Chinese cites have regularly been labeled as unhealthy or hazardous in recent weeks.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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