August 31, 2016 / 12:07 PM / 2 years ago

Colombia's Cerrejon coal mine resumes exports

BOGOTA, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Colombia’s largest coal mine, Cerrejon has restarted loading and exporting from its Bolivar port after a suspension last week due to suspected contamination, the company said on Wednesday.

Work at the port began again on Tuesday, Cerrejon said in a statement.

The suspension occurred last Friday after local government agency Corpoguajira issued an order for airborne emissions to be checked due to evidence that contamination had impacted the health of local indigenous communities.

Cerrejon presented a plan to keep emissions in check and Corpoguajira accepted it, the company said.

Cerrejon’s mine produces 32 million tonnes of coal a year, or 37 percent of Colombia’s total output. Earlier this year union workers voted in favour of a strike, but the two sides were able to reach agreement.

Cerrejon is a joint venture between Australia-based BHP Billiton Ltd, London- and Johannesburg-based Anglo American Plc and Swiss-based Glencore Xstrata.

Colombia is the world’s fifth largest coal exporter. The country’s output fell 3.5 percent in 2015 to 85.5 million tonnes. (Writing by Nina Chestney, editing by Louise Heavens)

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