11 Chinese miners die in neighbouring gold mine accidents

Accidents at two neighbouring gold mines claimed the lives of 11 miners working the pits in Henan province on Friday.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, via Reuters, local authorities said "Thick smoke engulfed a pit at the Qinling gold mine of China National Gold Group [CNGGC.UL] in Lingbao City on Friday morning, trapping 12 workers and six management staff."

Rescue workers recovered eight bodies Friday night and Saturday, and 10 were taken to hospital. Of the 10, one died in hospital and nine are recovering.

Another similar accident occurred on Friday afternoon at a gold mine close to the Qinling facility. Xinhua said among six workers that were trapped, four were rescued and two were found dead later that evening.

China has recently stepped up efforts to close unproductive or dangerous gold mines, and to boost gold output from 450 tonnes currently to 500 tonnes by the end of the decade.

On Feb. 28 Xinhua reported the Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) "aims to consolidate and upgrade the industry by reducing the number of gold [mining companies] to around 450 from more than 600, and shutting down 40 tonnes of outdated production capacity by the end of 2020."