China's coal profits in 2004 more than doubled over the same year-ago period to RMB30.7bn (US$3.7bn) amid aggressive production targets that have contributed to the constant deadly mine disasters averaging 16 deaths a day, Associated Press reported, citing figures released at the China Coal Industry Association conference April 10. China's coal output also soared in 2004, increasing 17% to 1.956bn tons, according to the association. The first quarter of the year saw coal production rise 12% to 423m tons, despite government controls to rein in industries that rely heavily on coal, such as steel.
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