Drummond Colombia output on way up

DRUMMOND Coal officials in Colombia are eyeing a sizable increase in output for whole-year 2013 thanks to a concerted effort to expand production in the country.
Drummond Colombia output on way up Drummond Colombia output on way up Drummond Colombia output on way up Drummond Colombia output on way up Drummond Colombia output on way up

Courtesy Drummond Coal.

Donna Schmidt

Vice-president Jose Miguel Linares said tonnage for next year could top 31 million tonnes, versus a lower-than expected 26Mt to 27Mt this year.

“We will be working to increase production levels to reach 30Mt to 31Mt,” he said.

“We will also seek to continue with the expansion of the El Descanso [complex] and get the environmental licence that allows us to operate in the south.”

Linares, a 25-year Drummond veteran, is poised to become Drummond Colombia’s interim president in 2013.

Drummond, which has most of its operations in the northern Cesar province, is among the party of major producers who are working to expand their mines, railways and ports in the coming years to take advantage of a spike in demand from abroad, particularly Asia.

Colombia is the fourth-largest coal exporter in the world.

Earlier this month, Association of the Large Scale Mining Sector director Claudia Jimenez said oversupply, increased shale gas usage and the recent Fenoco strike that paralyzed the South American nation’s railway infrastructure would leave Colombia with up to a 10% drop in exports for the year.

Also cited were delays in environmental licenses in the top producing region of Cesar.

Specifically, Jimenez said, exports would range between 72.8 million tonnes and 77.2 million tonnes whole-year.

In 2011, the nation’s largest mines – led by big players Glencoe, Drummond and Cerrejon – had 85.8Mt of total production.

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