Work stoppage ends at Pacific Coal mine in Colombia

Canada-based Pacific Coal Resources Ltd. (TSXV: PAK) said Feb. 6 that it has ended an illegal work stoppage and has resumed operations at its La Caypa coal mine in Colombia.

Operations at La Caypa resumed the morning of Feb. 4, and the company’s production returned to normal levels by the morning of Feb. 5. The company said it will work quickly to catch up on lost production.

The work disruption ended when the Barrancas municipality issued an order for the unauthorized personnel to clear the premises, which was enforced by local police. The police force that participated in these events is still at La Caypa and will remain stationed there throughout next week.

Pacific Coal had announced Jan. 30 an illegal work stoppage at La Caypa. Power generators along the U.S. Gulf and Atlantic coasts import a lot of Colombian coal, though it isn’t apparent whether La Caypa currently ships into that market.

The personnel involved in this work stoppage are not employees of Pacific Coal, nor its subsidiary Carbones Colombianos del Cerrejon (CCC), Pacific Coal noted in the Jan. 30 statement. The disruption began on Jan. 22 when unauthorized personnel blocked all access to the mine using heavy mining equipment. The striking workers belong to Gente Caribe and Gente Estrategica, a personnel provider to mining contractor Obras Proyectos Minera SA, which is contracted to provide coal extraction and overburden removal services at La Caypa.

The company said in a Nov. 29, 2011, financial report covering the third quarter of last year that it was on track to produce 1.6 million to 1.8 million tonnes of coal in 2011. Through the first nine months of 2011, production amounted to 1.2 million tonnes.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.