The State-owned Beizao coal mine, built in 1983 and run by the Shandong Energy Longkou Mining Group (SELMG) in East China’s Shandong Province, will be officially closed and its 1,580 employees will be transferred to other positions, the Economic Information Daily reported Monday. The mine is partly underground and partly underwater.
China became only the fifth country in the world to master offshore coal exploitation technology in 2005, the report said. The underwater sections of the mine are as much as 350 meters below sea level. The closure of the coal mine is part of a national plan to cut overcapacity.
According to the People’s Daily, the mine covers an area of 18 square kilometers, and has produced as much as 8 million tons of coal since opening in the 1980s.
Over the past 30 years, the mine gas gradually cut its annual production capacity from 2.25 million tons to 1.3 million, said the People’s Daily.
“We have worked here for more than 30 years and we feel sad about the closure of the mine,” the Economic Information Daily quoted Dong Shaohua, a miner, as saying.
“The cost of mining undersea is quite high, which might also be the reason the mine is closed,” Lü Zhiqiang, a former miner at Beizao, told the Global Times, adding that he left the mine in 2016 because he could not see future working in the mine for young people. He said that the devices from the Beizao mine, and the front-line workers, would be transferred to other mine projects under SELMG.
Shan Jie, Global Times