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Colombia's Cerrejon loads first coal shipment from new port infrastructure

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Colombia's Cerrejon loads first coal shipment from new port infrastructure


Colombia's Cerrejon on Saturday loaded its first 20,000-mt coal shipment from its upgraded Puerto Bolivar port, the company said Tuesday.

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The new port installations are part of the company's $1.31 billion P-40 expansion project that would raise the miner's export and production capacity to 40 million mt/year and includes upgrades to its mining, rail and port infrastructure.

Cerrejon in a statement said the new port works, which include the installation of a second direct shiploader, would "expand loading capacity, making simultaneous use of both loaders when required and utilizing innovative processes and technology."

Earlier in the year, Howard Gatiss, CEO of the miner's marketing arm Coal Marketing Co. said the company expects to reach 40 million mt of production sometime in 2015 or 2016, depending on market conditions and coal prices.

Cerrejon, a joint venture of Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore, is Colombia's largest thermal coal miner and exported 33.5 million mt in 2013, 2% above 2012.

Colombian news outlets last week reported that the country's Vice Minister of Mines Cesar Diaz said 2014 coal production target was revised to 95 million mt from 89.1 million mt, based on a 14% year-on-year rise in coal output in the first half of the year to 47.3 million mt.

Platts data shows this would be the highest Colombian coal production volume to date, eclipsing the previous high of 89 million mt in 2012.

Colombia produced a total of 84.5 million mt in 2013.

--Jaime Concha,
--Edited by Jeff Barber,