London Mining Network member group Colombia Solidarity Campaign has sent a delegation to Colombia to visit a number of mining-affected communities.
Among the communities visited have been those suffering as a result of the expansion of the Cerrejon coal mine, owned by Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Xstrata.
Contributors to the delegation’s blog write:
‘Cerrejon claim to be the largest open cast coal mine in the world. It also claims to be a pioneer in exceeding social, environmental and labour standards. At our meeting today with Cerrejon executives, which included a tour of the central zone, a Cerrejon official confided to us: “We mine responsibly not only because we want to, but also because it is makes business sense. We believe that customers from Europe and North America will opt for our responsibly mined coal, compared to our competitors with less stringent standards.” Cerrejon’s owners recently announced an expansion of the mining operations from 30 million tonnes last year to 40 million tonnes by the end of 2015. This would involve redirecting the Rancheria river, the main river that flows from the Santa Marta mountains and provides La Guajira department with water, over a 26Km stretch.’
BHP, Xstrata’s Cerrejon Coal Mine Says CEO Teicher Resigns
Cerrejon Coal has announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Leon Teicher, is resigning, effective 31 December. Teicher, who has been the Colombian mine’s CEO since May 2006, is leaving for personal reasons, according to an e-mailed company statement today. Melbourne-based BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s largest mining company; London-based Anglo American Plc (AAL) and Zug, Switzerland-based Xstrata Plc (XTA) each own 33.3 percent of Cerrejon. Teicher oversaw the design of a $1.3 billion plan announced last month to expand production at Cerrejon to 40 million metric tons in 2017 from 32.5 million tons this year. Under Teicher, the mine in the northern Colombian province of La Guajira made its first shipments of coal to China last year.