Brazilian energy company MPX Energia SA has entered into contract negotiations to export Colombian coal to U.S., Asian, and European markets, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
MPX is estimating that contracts will be announced within the first half of 2012, CEO Eduardo Karrer announced Thursday evening.
The company has been exploring for coal in the northeastern Colombian department of La Guajira. Open-pit mining is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of next year.
“We have expectations of having thermal coal of very good quality, which would guarantee us steady sales of these products in the international market,” Karrer said. “Colombia will increase its coal exports by a lot.”
MPX, which has seen 45% growth in the price of its stock this year, plans to produce 35 million tons of Colombian coal by 2020.
Mining giants BHP Billiton Ltd., Anglo American Plc. and Xstrata Plc. announced a $1.3 billion investment to expand production at the Cerrejon mine, the world’s largest open-pit coal mine for exports. Cerrejon is also located in the La Guajira department. The investment will boost coal production at Cerrejon to 40 million tons a year by 2015.