November 6, 2018 / 11:57 PM / 12 days ago

Drummond cancels possible sale of Colombia operations

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Alabama-based coal miner Drummond Co Inc [DRMND.UL] has canceled the possible sale of at least a portion of its operations in Colombia, for which it had hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc as an adviser, Drummond said on Tuesday.

Colombia, the world’s fifth-largest exporter of coal, produced 89.4 million tonnes of the fuel last year. Drummond was the country’s largest thermal coal producer and exporter in 2017, with output of 32.4 million tonnes and exports of 32.3 million tonnes.

Drummond said it would operate as usual in Colombia. A representative from Drummond said the company would not hire another advisor and did not plan to sell. Goldman Sachs said it had no comment.

The company hired Goldman Sachs in late 2017.

Drummond sold 20 percent of its stake in the Andean country for $1.5 billion in 2011 to Japan’s Itochu. The company said at the time it had looked into selling outright.

Asia is a major market for Colombian coal.

Besides Drummond, the biggest players in Colombia’s coal industry are Glencore Plc, Murray Energy Corp’s [MUYEY.UL] Colombia Natural Resources, and Cerrejon, which is jointly owned by BHP Billiton, Anglo American Plc and Glencore.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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