Flood Traps 21 People In Illegal Chinese Coal Mine As Production Hits Record

Flood Traps 21 People In Illegal Chinese Coal Mine As Production Hits Record

Like many other countries worldwide, China faces an energy crisis as coal shortages and high energy costs have increased power prices, forcing local governments to implement rolling blackouts for energy-intensive industries. Beijing ramped up coal production to record levels as illegal coal mining is on the rise. 

AP reports one illegal coal mine in China, located in Xiaoyi city in Shanxi province, one of the leading coal-producing regions in the country, experienced a flood on Wednesday that trapped 21 miners underground. 

Water was being pumped out of the mine, and the water level was falling, the Xiaoyi government said in an update on social media. Police have detained six people and others were being sought in connection with the incident, the report said. – AP 

China has cracked down on illegal mining but not hard enough as there appear to be ones still operating. A shortage of coal this year ahead of the Northern Hemisphere winter (Dec. 21) sent coal prices through the roof. A squeeze on coal has driven up prices, prompting a surge in legal and illegal mining. 

In November, China’s efforts to secure energy supplies resulted in record coal production. National Bureau of Statistics data reported production levels at 370.84 million tons of coal last month, compared to the previous record of 357.09 tons in October and was up 4.6% from the same period last year.

Despite Beijing’s climate change pledge, the world’s biggest coal miner and consumer produced 3.67 billion tons for the first eleven months of the year, up 4.2% over last. 

China has been blasted with cold snap after cold snap as a La Nina weather pattern forced Beijing to secure energy supplies at all costs. State-owned firms panic stockpiled coal and natural gas, used for heating and power generation. 

The latest average temperature forecast in China continues to slide. Temperatures are expected to average between 45-35 Fernhight for the back half of December. 

Heating degree days continue to rise. This means households and businesses will increase electricity use to heat their homes, putting pressure on power plants to increase output, thus more demand for coal. 

As long as coal prices remain elevated, illegal coal mines will continue to operate. 

Tyler Durden
Thu, 12/16/2021 – 18:40

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