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UPDATE 1-China Sept coal output rises as miners return from safety checks

* Sept. Coal output +7.6 pct y/y at 298 mln T

* Jan.-Sept. output +5.7 pct y/y at 3 bln T (Adds details.)

BEIJING, Oct 19 (Reuters) - China's coal production rose slightly in September from a month earlier, as miners increased operations to take advantage of rising prices after environmental and safety checks in August curbed output, data showed on Thursday.

China produced 298 million tonnes of coal last month, up 2.4 percent from August and 7.6 percent from a year ago, data released by the National Statistics Bureau showed on Thursday.

Over the first nine months of the year coal production reached 3 billion tonnes, up 5.7 percent from the same period a year ago.

The production of coke used in steelmaking fell 7.1 percent in September to 36.45 million tonnes, with year-to-date output reaching 331.81 million tonnes, up 0.2 percent. (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)