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Output and exports from Cerrejon coal mine down in 2017

Coal News - Published on Fri, 12 Jan 2018

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Reuters reporetd that production and exports at Cerrejon, Colombia’s largest thermal coal mine, fell in 2017 for the third straight year as heavy rainfall affected operations.

Cerrejon said that output reached 31.9 million tonnes in 2017, 0.3 % below the previous year. Exports totaled 31.7 million tonnes, a drop of 2.4 % compared with 2016. The mining company is currently negotiating wages and benefits with the main workers’ union which has threatened to strike if terms are not agreed by Jan. 19.

A strike at the Cerrejon mine could further reduce production and overseas sales from the world’s fifth-largest exporting nation of the mineral.

Cerrejon, one of the world’s largest open-pit coal mines, is located in northern La Guajira province. It has a railway line spanning more than 90 miles (150-km) and a seaport to handle shipments.

The trade union has demanded a 12 % wage increase in the first year of a new contract, while the company has offered 5.2 % as well as a bonus to each employee and health and education benefits.

Cerrejon’s offer is above the 4.09 % inflation for last year, but the union has said it falls short of expectations given strong coal prices in recent months.

Cerrejon, which belongs in equal parts to BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Glencore, has said its offer is fair and based on projections for a difficult year in international coal markets.

Colombia produced 65.1 million tonnes of coal in the first nine months of 2017, 4.4 % lower than for the same period a year earlier. It set a production target above 90 million tonnes for 2017.

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Fri, 12 Jan 2018
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