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Li urges coal sector to dig out new economic drivers
September 05,2017   By:China Daily
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Sept.5,2017--Premier Li Keqiang talks with Zhang Zhiqiang, a coal miner, at Zhang's home in Changzhi, Shanxi province, as Zhang's daughter holds his arm. Zhang was relocated to another mine after the place he used to work was closed amid the country's push to cut overcapacity. (LIU ZHEN/CHINA NEWS SERVICE)
 
Sept.5,2017--Coal mines that are closed during China's push to cut overcapacity should transform their old economic drivers and offer better assistance to miners needing job relocation, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday.
 
Li made the call on Monday morning while visiting a coal mine in Changzhi, Shanxi province. The mine, Shigejie, which has operated for more than 90 years and was among China's largest coal producers during the 1960s, halted operations last year due to the low-quality coal it produced and its outdated operational facilities.
 
In 2016, all 2,816 employees at Shigejie were helped to find new jobs.
 
The closure was part of the 23.25 million metric tons of annual coal capacity Shanxi phased out last year-the largest cuts across China.
 
"The mines we phased out were outdated ones, but it does not mean our workforce is outdated. They will improve their skills through training," Li said.