Chinese coal miners to work less hours this year in bid to reduce supply glut

China, the world’s largest coal consumer, is stepping up efforts to shrink both oversupply and a worsening pollution crisis in its major cities by reducing the number of working days for its coal miners to 276 a year from 330.

Official production capacity of China’s coal mines would be adjusted to fit the new 276 working day limit.

In a notice on the country’s State Administration of Work Safety website, quoted by Reuters, the body said Monday the official production capacity of China’s coal mines would be adjusted to fit the new 276 working day limit. This implies that miners will face even stricter production caps.

The fresh measure follows Beijing announcement in January, which warned of plans to close about 4,300 coal mines by 2019, with at least 1,000 to be shut this year. China, which has also halted the approval of new coal mines over the next three years, expects to remove outdated production capacity of 700 million tonnes and redeploy around 1 million workers.

The country has eliminated about 560 million tonnes of coal production capacity and closed 7,250 coal mines in the last five years. However, it still had around 11,000 coal mines in operation by the end of 2015, with a total capacity of 5.7 billion tonnes.