VIDEO: Drummond: Economic lifeline or epic polluter?
Alabama-based coal miner Drummond has, over the past two decades, become Colombia's second-biggest coal producer. But according to the Colombian government, it's also become one of the country's biggest polluters.
Last month the government forced Drummond to stop loading coal because the company was not in compliance with new loading system rules. In an attempt to cut pollution from coal loading activities, the country passed a law in 2007 which states that by January 1 2014, companies must load coal onto ships using a direct-to-vessel system, rather than cranes.
Drummond, having missed the deadline, declared a 'force majeure,' though it's apparently still shipping some of its coal through Puerto Nuevo – a port operated by a subsidiary of Glencore Xstrata. Drummond plans on completing its new conveyor belt loading system by March.
The coal company doesn't have a clean record in Colombia. In 2013, Drummond spilled hundreds of tonnes of coal into the Caribbean sea as a barge was sinking. Six employees are now being charged and the company has been ordered to pay $3.5 million, according to the BBC.
The Wall Street Journal has released this video report on Drummond's public relations fiasco in Colombia.
Image featured on homepage: Screenshot from Drummond Co. YouTube video