TAIYUAN, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The northern Chinese coal-rich province of Shanxi has reduced 45.9 million tonnes of coal production capacity, after the closure of 52 mines in the past two years.
The province closed 27 coal mines this year, with a total production capacity of 22.7 million tonnes, Wang Shouzhen, director general of the Shanxi Coal Industry Association, told a coal trade conference that closed Friday in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi.
"The capacity reduction has helped lift coal prices and allowed the once loss-making industry to report 23.4 billion yuan (3.5 billion U.S. dollars) in net profits in the first 10 months of the year, an annual increase of 25.7 billion yuan," Wang said.
Coal output in Shanxi rose 9.6 percent year on year to 727 million tonnes in the January-October period, while sales rose 8.41 percent to 655 million tonnes, he said.
Wang said that the overcapacity-plagued coal industry still faced market uncertainties as China sought to shift its energy mix to reduce pollution.
"The industry should boost technological innovation to turn coal from traditional energy to a clean energy," he said.