context: This is the NDRC’s latest move in a string of measures aimed at relieving the nation’s coal supply crunch that has caused prices to skyrocket. With Australian imports still banned, the supply shortfall is expected to persist through summer.

Fifteen coal mines that had previously been closed will be reopened for up to one year, according to a joint notification published by NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) and NEA (National Energy Administration) on 4 Aug 2021. The 15 reopened mines

  • were previously operating under trial conditions, and will have these conditions extended for one year
  • are located in Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia and Xinjiang
  • have a total capacity of 43.5 million tonnes per year
  • will yield an increased capacity of 150,000 tonnes per day

The notification also urges local governments to

  • expedite approvals for new coal mines so they can begin trial operations
  • expedite the transition to regular operations for mines currently in trial operation