BOGOTA, March 31 U.S.-based Drummond Co Inc
, Colombia's second biggest coal miner, resumed
exports of the fuel after an upgrade of its port to meet new
environmental legislation, the company said on Monday.
Drummond will invest $360 million to finish the update of
its port by August, it said in a statement. On completion, the
port will have installed capacity of 60 tonnes a year.
The government shut the port in January after the new
environmental law took effect, slashing the country's coal
exports by about a third after it banned the use of cranes and
barges to load boats, a practise outlawed due to the pollution
Resumption of Drummond's exports looks likely to be the end
for now of more than a year of logistics and labor strife that
has blighted the Andean nation's coal production and caused it
to fall 4 percent short of its production target in 2013 when
output totaled 85.5 million tonnes.
Drummond was unable to finish building the now
legally-required conveyor belt loading system before the law
took effect, and had not shipped coal since around Jan. 12.
Drummond is working on construction of legally-compliant
infrastructure that pours coal straight into ships' holds from a
covered conveyor belt.
Drummond has cut its production forecast for 2014 to 25
million to 26 million tonnes, down from a previous forecast of
30 million tonnes.
(Reporting by Helen Murphy)