Strikes take their toll in Colombia’s coal output, down by 13%

Colombia's coal production dropped more than 13% in the first half of 2013 to 40.5 million tonnes, the National Mining Agency said, reports local paper El Nuevo Siglo (in Spanish).

The nation’s coal industry has been severely affected this year by two major strikes, said the organization. The first hit Colombia’s No. 1 coal miner, Cerrejón, in February, while rival Drummond is still facing labour actions that began in July.

According to the World Coal Association, Colombia is the world's fourth largest coal exporter and South America’s largest coal producer.

Under Colombian law, strikes can last for up to 60 days before the matter is taken to an arbitration tribunal, which will automatically lift the strike.