More that 13 workers were others were freed by rescuers following the strong blast at Babao Coal Mine in the city of Baishan in Jilin province.
Rescue work has finished at the mine and the cause of the accident is under investigation, said the spokesman.
The accident occurred on the same day that a huge landslide came crashing down a mountainside in Tibet, burying 83 workers in a gold mining area, state media said.
China is the world’s biggest consumer of coal, relying on the fossil fuel for 70 percent of its growing energy needs.
But its mines are among the deadliest in the world because of lax regulation, corruption and inefficiency. Accidents are common because safety is often neglected by bosses seeking quick profits.
The mine is a state-owned colliery under the Tonghua Mining (Group) Co., Ltd, the Xinhua report said.
According to Xinhua, the affected mine is state-owned under the Tonghua Mining group.
According to official figures, 1,973 people died in coal mining accidents in China in 2011, a 19 percent fall on the previous year.
A vast amount of debris and land engulfed the workers’ camp in Maizhokunggar county, Xinhua news agency reported.
Police said the area that collapsed was up to 4 sq km (1.5 sq miles).
Chinese officials believe the Tibetan plateau has huge resources, including millions of tonnes of copper, lead, zinc and iron ore.