Coal deaths drop by one-third says China's statistics bureau
China's GDP was up 7.8% but mining investment lagged other sectors, according to recent economic figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.
The bureau estimated that fixed asset investment in mining was up 11.8%, below the average investment of 20.6% in other sectors.
Natural gas consumption for energy was up sharply in China, while coal use grew more slowly.
"Preliminary estimation indicated that the total energy consumption in 2012 amounted to 3.62 billion tons of standard coal equivalent, up 3.9 percent over 2011. The consumption of coal grew by 2.5 percent; crude oil, up 6.0 percent; natural gas, up 10.2 percent; and electric power, up 5.5 percent. The national energy consumption per 10,000 yuan worth of GDP went down by 3.6 percent."
Imports of coal, however, were up sharply at 20.2%. Importation of copper and copper alloys only grew 4.9%. See table 8 below.
The death toll, measured in deaths per one million tons of coal mined, was down to 0.374 person, a drop of 33.75 from 2011.
The overall death toll from industrial accidents declined more modestly.
"The death toll due to work accidents amounted to 71,983 people, a year-on-year decrease of 4.7 percent. The death toll from work accidents every 100 million yuan worth of GDP was 0.142 people, a decline of 17.9 percent. Work accidents in industrial, mining and commercial enterprises caused 1.64 deaths out of every 100 thousand employees, down 12.8 percent."
China's consumers are becoming more wealthy. The use of gold and silver in jewelry was up 16%.
Creative Commons image of a tricycle full of coal by Augapfel