North China's coal-rich Shanxi Province will continue to halt mining rights approvals and transfers in 2017 as it seeks to reduce overcapacity in the struggling industry, a local official said Thursday.
The province will strictly limit increases in newly added coal output, said Xu Dachun, head of the provincial department of land and resources.
Shanxi, where mining rights approvals and transfers were suspended for the first time in 2016, shut down 23.25 million tonnes of coal production capacity last year.
Xu said the authorities will also strive to guard against resuming production at the closed coal mines.
In addition, Shanxi will further step up mergers and acquisitions of existing mines to form large mining groups. It aims to limit the number of its mines to 900 in 2020, with each having an average production capacity of 1.8 million tonnes annually, the official said.
Coal output in Shanxi hit 832 million tonnes in 2016, a decline of 143 million tonnes from the figure in 2015.
Shanxi accounts for a quarter of China's proven coal reserves with more than 260 billion tonnes. Enditem