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COLOMBIA BANS COAL LOADING BY MAJOR PRODUCER DRUMMOND

01/13/2014

Colombia has ordered Drummond Co.—the country’s second biggest producer of coal—to stop loading coal in Colombian ports until the company complies with a new environmental law. In an effort to prevent spills, the new rules prohibit coal exporters from using barges and cranes to load ships and instead require them to institute a conveyor belt system. While other coal companies, including BHP and Glencore Xstrata PLC, met the rules' January 1 deadline, Drummond estimates that its new loading system should be in place by March. The delay could mean the loss of as much as 4,000,000 metric tons of coal shipments, causing the Colombian government to miss out on a significant sum in royalties. According to Environment Minister Luz Sarmiento, the decision is costly but necessary, as “what’s at risk is the country’s environment.” Drummond will be given five days to offload the coal it currently has in barges onto ships, after which it will prohibited from loading until it complies with the new rules. For the full story, see http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-08/drummond-s-coal-loading-halted-as-colombia-pulls-port-license.html and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-25666170.