UPDATE 1-Colombia first-quarter coal production up one-third on yr -gov't

Fri May 16, 2014 7:13pm EDT

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(Adds details on disruption at mines in 2013)

CARTAGENA, Colombia May 16 (Reuters) - First-quarter coal production in Colombia, the world's fourth-biggest coal exporter, jumped one-third to 24.5 million tonnes from the year before when strikes and stoppages had hit output, data from the Mines and Energy ministry showed on Friday.

The year-on-year leap reflects an output recovery from the first quarter of 2013 when workers at the country's biggest miner, Cerrejon, staged a month-long strike.

Output was not notably affected by the shutdown of U.S. miner Drummond Co Inc's port in the first quarter due to environmental regulations because the company stockpiled its production until it completed the port overhaul in March.

That lowered exports during the quarter.

The government forecast 2014 coal production of 89.1 million tonnes on Thursday, a target it is well on its way to achieving based on first-quarter production figures. (Reporting by Peter Murphy; Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker)

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