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Colombia blocks Drummond coal loading after rule breach

Colombia has ordered US-based coal producer Drummond to stop loading coal in Colombian ports until the company complies with new environmental rules. Under the regulations, coal exporters will no longer be allowed to use barges and cranes to load ships. The rules are aimed at preventing spillage and pollution of the seas. Three weeks ago, Drummond was fined $3.5m (£2.1m) for spilling hundreds of tons of coal when it tried to rescue a sinking barge in January 2013…Environment Minister Luz Helena Sarmiento said it was a "costly" but necessary decision to protect Colombia's environment. "If they [Drummond] don't do things properly, we'd prefer not to have this money, and they have to learn that Colombia must be respected," she said…The new rules will not affect the country's biggest coal producer Cerrejon, a joint venture between BHP Biliton, Anglo American and Xstrata, as it is already using conveyor belts to do its loading...