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Colombian nickel, silver, platinum output drops in 2015, but gold rises

Lima, Peru — Colombia's output of nickel, silver, platinum and coal fell last year, while gold production rose, the government said.

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Nickel output fell 11% to 80.8 million lb in 2015 from 90.9 million lb a year earlier due to a two-week strike at Cerro Matoso, owned by BHP Billiton spinoff South32, the National Mining Agency said Wednesday in a statement.

Gold production rose 3.8% to 1.9 million oz last year from 1.83 million oz a year earlier, according to the agency.

Silver production fell 11.7% to 326,482 oz from 369,683 oz a year earlier, while platinum dropped 24% to 27,669 oz from 36,480 oz, the agency said.

Colombia's coal output fell 3.5% to 85.5 million mt in 2015, compared with 88.6 million mt a year earlier, as shipments were hampered by a strike by railway operator Fenoco and neighboring Venezuela's decision to close its borders, the agency said. Colombia is Latin America's largest coal producer.

--Alex Emery,
--Edited by Jason Lindquist,