China orders coal mines closed

I’ve written before , 2, 3, 4, 5, about China’s poor worker safety record. Probably the worst place is the coal mining industry, which feeds heating and steel-making consumption, although the steel industry itself is no shining example of safety.
BEIJING, China (Reuters) — China has ordered nearly a third of its thousands of coal mines to halt production and improve safety in the world’s deadliest mining industry, state media said on Wednesday.
The latest in a series of crackdowns, which have had little if any effect so far, comes days after rescuers called off the search for scores of miners trapped for weeks in a flooded pit in southern China where the death toll stands at 123.
Chinese mines, many unlicensed, often ignore safety regulations to meet an insatiable demand for coal, which the country relies on for 70 percent of its huge energy consumption.
Coal supplies are unlikely to be hit hard by the shut-down because most of the pits involved are small.

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