Researchers at Kayrros, a French geoanalysis company, estimate that the methane cloud spotted on March 1 formed within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the Manglai surface mine. The mine’s operator, Manglai Mining Co., aims to expand its capacity to 5 million tons of coal per year, from 900,000 this year. It said last month it met safety requirements for the expansion and was on track for a production license for the increased capacity.

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