China's work safety supervisor will soon launch a nationwide inspection of coal mines to crack down on illegal mining and prevent deadly accidents.

A spokesman of the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) said on October 3 that the campaign, which starts on October 10 and lasts until November 30, will check whether accident-prone small mines of outdated capacity have been shut down according to state policies. Technological upgrades, merger and acquisition of mines will also be examined, he said. Nearly 1,539 small mines of outdated capacity have to be closed in China this year to meet the country's carbon dioxide emission and pollution-reduction requirements. China's annual fatalities at coal mines had dropped from a peak of 6,995 deaths in 2002 to 2,631 in 2009, according to SAWS data.

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