North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region will be able to produce 500 million tons of coal a year by 2010, nearly twice as much as the 2005 volume.
To achieve that goal, the region will improve its coal production efficiency by shutting down small and low-yield mines, a spokesman with the regional government said Tuesday.
The region will close down small mines whose annual production is below 300,000 tons and will limit the total number of collieries within 500 by 2010, the spokesman said.
By then, the region will have set up two large mining bases with annual production exceeding 100 million tons each.
The government will not approve any new colliery that produces less than 1.2 million tons a year, and newly established open mines will have to produce at least 3 million tons a year to start operation.
Inner Mongolia, an important coal production base in north China, has reported steady growth in output. Its coal production has soared from 80 million tons in 2001 to an estimated 260 million tons in 2005.