Coal production in Colombia, the world’s fifth-largest coal exporter, fell by 48.8% in the second quarter because of coronavirus quarantine measures and low international prices, the government said. The South American country produced 9.7 million metric tons (mt) of the fuel between April and June, down from 18.8-million mt in the same period last year, the mines and energy ministry and national mining agency said in a joint statement.
The country was under quarantine for more than five months from March to the end of August. Though coal mining was exempt from a full shutdown, many mines reduced operations. “The reduction, and in some cases suspension, of activities at important coal projects, in an effort to mitigate contagion risks and the fall in international prices, drastically affected the numbers for the country’s key mineral,” the statement said.
Colombia produced 82.2 million mt of coal in 2019. Major miners include Cerrejon, jointly owned by BHP Group, Anglo American and Glencore, Drummond and Prodeco, a unit of Glencore.