United States-based coal company Drummond on Wednesday had its shipping operations in a northern Colombian coastal city suspended after allegedly dumping tons of coal into the Caribbean sea.
The National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA) suspended shipping operations for the Alabama-based Drummond Company in Santa Marta, reportedly costing the company as much as $6.4 million per day.
“There is a clear violation of the rules here,” said Colombia’s environmental minister Juan Gabriel Uribe. He explained that the company will be subject to large fines if it continues to operate.
Prosecutors are investigating the controversial multinational mining company after accusations that the company dumped “500 tons” of coal into the sea in the port of Cienega, near Santa Marta, on January 13. A Drummond ship supposedly suffered an accident and was sinking and therefore dumped their cargo, in this case coal. The company also allegedly waited more than two weeks before reporting the spill to the ANLA.
Drummond said the decision to dump the coal was made in order to save the lives of the crew members on board.
BACKGROUND: Caribbean coal spill coverup investigated