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    Four killed and nine missing after blast at Chinese coal mine

    Four workers were killed and nine were missing after an explosion at a small coal mine in China’s Guizhou province on Monday night, state-owned Xinhua News reported on Tuesday citing local authorities.
    The incident happened at Zimujia coal mine, run by privately owned Pannan Coal Investment Company, in Panzhou city. The coal mine has a designed annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes.
    The cause of the explosion was unclear as rescue work continued.
    Benchmark thermal coal futures soared as much as 5.5 per cent to 622 yuan (US$90.80) a tonne, their highest in 11 months, during early trade on Tuesday, as the market anticipated more stringent inspections on coal mines across the country that might hit supply.
    The accident came not long after a blast at an iron ore mining project in Liaoning that killed 11 people in June.
    According to Guizhou Energy Administration file, the coal mine had been ordered to rectify some safety issues during a safety inspection conducted by local authorities in late April.
    Pannan Coal could not be reached for comment. Panzhou city government declined to comment.

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