Mining - Colombia

Coal production could hit 90Mt in 2011

Coal production could hit 90Mt in 2011

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Colombia will produce 85M-90Mt of coal in 2011, mines and energy (Minminas) minister Carlos Rodado was cited as saying by local press.

"We could be nearing 90Mt coal by the end of the year, that is the goal," Rodado said.

Although the 2010 production targets were not met because of the rains, this year will be better for the sector, according to Rodado. "We were aiming at [producing] 80Mt last year, but this dropped to 75Mt because of the winter," he said.

Colombia - the fifth largest coal exporter after Indonesia, Australia, Russia and South Africa - was expecting to produce 80Mt in 2010 after output hit nearly 73Mt in 2009.

The leading coal mining companies in Colombia are US producer Drummond and Cerrejón, which is owned in equal parts by Anglo American (LSE: AAL), BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) and Xstrata (LSE: XTA). Cerrejón is the largest coal mining operation in Latin America.

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