According to Reuters, the minister did not cite the reason why coal production specifically was set to double, but did outline expected levels of 145 million tonnes by 2019. He said gold output by that time could rise to 80t.
The swelling interest in investments is due an improved business climate as well as a US-backed military offensive against leftist guerrillas, the news service noted, that has resulted in enhanced security in the region.
"The goal we have for expansion of coal production is to pass from 72 million tonnes this year to a figure of around 144 to 145 million tonnes in 2019," Rodado said.
Colombia ranks fifth in the world for coal export.
The new service noted that experts projected last month that the country’s coal exports could hit 119Mt by 2021, up from its projection of 76.9Mt in 2010, citing central bank and finance ministry estimates.
Earlier this month, Colombian officials said metallurgical and thermal exports rose 12.5% in the first half of the year compared to 2009. Much of the thermal product went to Asia, specifically China, due to a drop in European demand.
According to the 2010 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Colombia had coal production of 72.1Mt in 2009, 1.37% of the world total. Its reserves make up just 0.82% of the world total, but are the second largest reserves in South America behind Brazil.