Xilutian Mine

West Pit - 西露天矿

Useful Information

Location: Fushun, Liaoning province
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=6,600 m W=2,200 m VR=420 m.
Guided tours:
Address: Xilutian Mine, Fushun, Liaoning province.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1901 mine opened.
2016 planned closure.
2019 mine shut down.


Xilutian Mine was finally closed in 2019, after the closure was postponed several times. The West Pit (in Cinese 西露天矿 or Xī lùtiān kuàng) was once the largest open-pit coal mine in Asia. It was the economic engine for Fushun City and fueled China's heavy industries since 1914. The mine had its heydays in the early 1960s, with annual coal production reaching 18 million tons. It seems the mine was actually closed because the coal was exhausted, as China reached a new record high in coal production in 2019. Production increased in mainly in Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia, to meet increasing demand.

The result of mining at Fushun was a wasteland of 1.4 km² which is currently under ecological management. The idea is to stop the frequent mudslides and ground sinking, and to build it into an eco-friendly site. In 2020 one-fifth of the renaturation is completed. The Chinese way seems to be the creation of a sort of park on the slopes of the pit in the hope that the vegetation will stabilize the pit.

The mine is used as a show mine for several years, even before the closure. Tourists are allowed to visit a part of the mine on guided tours and see the work excavators, bulldozers and trucks. There is a viewing deck surrounded by an exhibition of machinery once used in the mine. This includes for example a bulldozer plow from the first half of century, a 1950 Soviet excavator and a 1960 East German electric locomotive. There is also a museum on the development of Liaoning's coal mining industry.

Xilutian coal mine is the type locale of the wasp Leptogasterites furvus Hong 2002 and Leptogasterites brunneus Hong 2002. They were found in amber since the 1980s. The insects lived between 48 and 56 Million years ago.