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Colombia nickel output gains, precious metals fall in Q3

Lima, Peru — Colombian output of nickel rose in the third quarter from a year ago,while precious metals and coal production fell, the government said.

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Nickel output jumped 33.8% to 25.7 million lb from 19.2 million lb ayear earlier at the Cerro Matoso mine, owned by BHP Billiton spinoff South32,the National Mining Agency said Tuesday in a statement.

Gold output dropped 38.3% to 288,194 oz from 467,768 oz a year earlier, the agency said. The government has imposed tougher controls on gold trading as part of a clampdown on illegal mining.

Silver slid 0.3% to 76,935 oz from 77,164 oz, while platinum plunged44.5% to 4,952 oz from 8,934 oz.

Colombia's coal output at mines operated by BHP Billiton, Drummond andGlencore declined by 8.1% to 21.5 million mt in the quarter from 23.4 millionmt a year earlier, the agency said. Colombia is Latin America's largest coalproducer.

--Alex Emery,

--Edited by Jason Lindquist,