UPDATE 2-Drummond cuts 2014 Colombia coal outlook, sees jump later

miércoles 12 de marzo de 2014 17:47 GYT

* Output to jump above 33 mln tonnes from 2015 onwards

* Drummond confirms exports to resume before end March

* Lower coal prices dissuade expansion - Cerrejon (New throughout, adds more forecasts, comment from Cerrejon CEO Pombo)

By Peter Murphy

CARTAGENA, Colombia, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. coal miner Drummond has cut its forecast for 2014 production from its mines in Colombia after the sudden three-month shut down of its private port, but expects output to rise to unprecedented levels from next year onwards.

The resumption of exports by Colombia's second biggest coal miner due in late March, should draw a line under more than a year of turbulence in the Andean nation's coal sector, the world's fourth-biggest exporter, after a run of strikes and logistics woes.

Drummond Ltd's chief executive for Colombia, Jose Miguel Linares, said the company was now working with a lower 2014 production forecast of 25 million to 26 million tonnes, down from a previous forecast for this year of around 30 million.

Its exports were suddenly shut off by the government in early January because the company was unable to immediately comply with a new environmental law banning loading of coal using cranes and barges, outlawed for the pollution it causes.

Drummond had expected to have a legally-compliant conveyor belt-based ship loading system ready in time but Linares said a seven-week labor strike on top of environmental licensing delays meant it was unfinished before the new law took effect.   Continuación...