Colombia coal output down slightly in 2017 to 89.4 million tonnes

BOGOTA, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Colombia, the world's fifth-largest exporter of coal, produced 89.4 million tonnes in 2017, down 1.2 percent from output the year before, the Energy and Mining Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The country produced 90.5 million tonnes in 2016.

"Our goal for coal was 89 million tonnes," mining minister German Arce said in the statement. "Companies in the sector also responded in a positive way to the challenges that appeared in 2017."

The biggest players in Colombia's coal industry are Drummond Co, Glencore Plc, Murray Energy Corp's Colombia Natural Resources, and Cerrejon, which is jointly owned by BHP Billiton, Anglo American PLC and Glencore.

(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Alistair Bell)