China Closes 341 Mines in Inner Mongolia After Social Confrontations

Employment Security Office of Inner Mongolia has closed 205 coal mines and suspended another 136 to improve controls in the Autonomous Region of China.

“The campaign aims to promote mining, and protect the lives of workers,” government sources said today.
Spokesmen avoided giving details on the reasons for the sanctions to enterprises, but mine closure for negligence in work safety or lack of permits is common in China, Xinhua said.

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous region hosts the largest coal reserves in the country with a total of 741,400 million tons.

The coal development in the area has boosted economic activity, but also raised serious environmental problems.

Official reports from experts warn that mining may damage the vulnerable ecology of Inner Mongolia, and weaken its role as a natural barrier to prevent sandstorms and the expansion of desertification in northern China.