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BEIJING: China’s coal output rose in August, but gains were checked by tightened safety measures in major mining hubs which have curbed operations at mines.

The world’s biggest coal producer churned out 382.17 million metric tons of the fossil fuel last month, equivalent to 12.33 million tons per day, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Friday.

August’s production is higher than the 377.54 million tons of output in July, but lower than June’s 390.1 million tons. China launched more stringent safety inspections in July after two accidents.

For the eight months to August, China total output was 3.05 billion tons, a 3.4% increase over the same year-ago period.

More than a dozen coal mines in China’s top mining province Shaanxi were temporarily shut down after a gas explosion at a coal mine in late August killed 11 people.

In the neighbouring Inner Mongolia region, authorities ordered coal mines to carry out self-inspections, putting a cap on production.

Average operational rates at 442 major coal mines in Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia fell to 80.6% in early September from about 81.2% in the previous month, according to data compiled by data provider Wind. The rate was as high as 85% earlier this year.

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