Changing China

Giant on the move

The Price of Coal

November 25, 2009

What drives a miner to work in one of China’s notoriously dangerous pits, where 3,000 people were killed in 2008 alone?

“We all know mining is dangerous, but what can we do?” Li Liangcang, a farmer form eastern China, asked me in his tiny rented miner’s house in the country’s frozen north. “I’m not young any more – 37 or 38 – and it’s too late to learn a skill. It’s not a question of choice. you have a family that depends on you. If you don’t do this job, what else can you do?”

For his 56-year-old friend Zhu Xiuli, it’s a similar story.

But then what would their families do without them?

To see a Reuters report on the relatives of men killed in a recent blast at the nearby Xinxing mine click here

Photo credit: Jason Lee


China should abandon these coal mines and use them to bury their nuclear wastes instead of innocent workers.

Posted by Ebrahimi | Report as abusive

Well, EbrahimiIf you know a way to replace the power lost (cheaply) by shutting down all the coal mines in China,I think the Government of the People’s Republic of China will entertain thoughts of talking with you.A huge problem that requires a little deeper thinking than you have exhibited.


While mining is necessary for the energy supply of the nation, it does not mean that mining companies cannot improve on safety.A better planning, more precaution in place and more safety courses for workers can help to save lives.Labor is cheap does not mean that lives are cheap too.All the miners have grand expectations for better life for themselves and their kids. When society recognizes that, the pressure on the mining companies to improve safety can minimize risks.


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