Colombia Cerrejon’s coal output soars 89% in 2021

El Cerrejon coal mine, Colombia. (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Colombian coal miner Cerrejon’s production jumped 89% last year to 23.4 million tonnes, the company said in a statement on Monday, recovering from the hit from a three-month strike and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Cerrejon was fully bought by top global miner and trader Glencore Plc last year, as the Swiss-based company snapped up the 66% of Cerrejon shares it did not yet own from rivals BHP Group and Anglo American.

A Cerrejon spokesperson said they had no export figures to share.

“2021 was a year of recovery, where the priority was the health and safety of our collaborators. 2022 has begun with the acquisition of Cerrejon on the part of Glencore, which is a demonstration of confidence in us and the country,” Cerrejon Chief Executive Claudia Bejarano said in the statement.

Colombia is a major global exporter of coal and royalties and taxes from the fuel are a top contributor to government coffers.

The government has not yet published official mining output figures for last year, but the energy minister has predicted coal output will have recovered 20% from the year before.

The private Colombian Mining Association has said coal production rose to 59.6 million tonnes in 2021, up from 49.3 million tonnes the prior year.

(By Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Marguerita Choy)


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