Drummond returns to loading Colombian coal

(Photo: Colprensa)

US-based coal giant Drummond is once again loading coal on Colombia’s Caribbean coast for export after a ban imposed by government was lifted, reported Colombian media.

Drummond was banned from exporting coal in January in retaliation to its dumping of 2,000 tons of coal into the Santa Marta harbor in January of 2013.  The catastrophe occurred when a coal barge being used to transport the coal began to sink in the harbor.

MORE: Colombia suspends Drummond operations after coal spill coverup

The company was also fined $3.5 million in December 2013 by the Colombian government for the environmental damage caused by the dumping.  For months following the dumping black coal dust washed up on Santa Marta’s tourists beaches.

MORE: Colombia fines Drummond for $3.5M over Caribbean coal dump

Drummond allegedly attempted to cover up the incident but a journalist witnessing the 2,000 tons falling into the sea was able to photograph the incident.

Drummond has invested $360 million into a new direct loading system that will comply with Colombian law, reported Caracol news. The project will be completed in August of this year and will allow Drummond to export as much as 60 million tons of coal a year from Colombia, a three-fold increase from current export levels.

The coal giant is currently helping combat raging fires in the region’s Sierra Nevada mountains with logistical support and water tankers.


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