Pribbenow coal mine

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Pribbenow coal mine (or Mina Pribbenow, La Loma Mine) is an open-pit coal mine, operated by Drummond Ltd, a subsidiary of Drummond Company Inc, in the Cesar Coal Basin, near La Loma, Colombia.[1][2][3]


The satellite photo below shows the location of Pribbenow coal mine in the Cesar Coal Basin near the town of La Loma and the village of La Jagua de Ibirico in northern Colombia.[1][2][4]

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Mina Pribbenow is operated by Drummond Ltd and owned 100% by Alabama-based Drummond Company Inc through its Colombian subsidiary Drummond International LLC.[5] Along with the nearby El Descanso mine, Pribbenow is a part of Drummond's Colombian coal mining operations. Coal from Pribbenow is transported 193 kilometers (120 miles) by railcar on the renovated portion of the Colombian National Railroad System to Puerto Drummond on the northern coast for export.[4]

In January 2019, Colombia's national mining agency announced that it had extended Drummond’s license to operate its La Loma mine for an additional 20 years.[6][7]

Coal Production & Exports

In early 2022, Drummond reported that it had been Colombia's leading coal producer for six consecutive years.[5] Combined production from all of Drummond's Colombian mines totaled 28.9 million tonnes in 2021, while exports rose to 31.5 million tonnes.[5] The Pribbenow mine accounted for slightly more than a quarter of Drummond's Colombian production (7.6 million tonnes) in 2021.[5]

Coal production at Drummond's Colombian operations totaled 29.3 million tonnes in 2020[5] and 32.6 million tonnes in 2019[5][8], with the Pribbenow mine contributing 7.8 million tonnes in 2020[5] and nearly 10 million tonnes in 2019.[5][9] In 2022, the Pribbenow (La Loma) mine reportedly produced 5.7 million tonnes of coal, and was projected to produce 6.7 million tonnes in 2023.[10]

Production and Exports - Drummond Mines in Colombia

Mtpa = million tonnes per annum
Year Production - El Descanso (Mtpa) Production - Pribbenow (Mtpa) Total Production (Mtpa) Total Exports (Mtpa)
2022 20.4[10] 5.7[10] 27.6[10] 27.7[10]
2021 20.6[5] 7.6[5] 28.9[5] 31.5[5]
2020 21.5[11] 7.8[11] 29.3[5] 29.7[5]
2019 23.1[12] 9.5[12] 32.6[5] 31.1[5]
2018 30.8[5] 31.5[5]
2017 32.5[5] 32.4[5]


Mina Pribbenow is a project of the Drummond Company Inc.[5] In 2011 Drummond sold a 20% stake in its Colombian mining operations to the Japanese company Itochu Corp.[13][14] In early 2021 Drummond Company Inc reassumed 100% ownership of the mines.[5]

Controversies and paramilitary links

According to the New York Times in 2002, Drummond has been "accused of encouraging the assassination of three union leaders at its giant coal mine in Colombia. Drummond has been investigated over accusations it paid local paramilitary groups to kill union leaders.[15][16] As of August 2022, the Colombian Commission for the Clarification of the Truth has confirmed that Drummond, along with other multinational mining companies, did form alliances with paramilitaries as early as 1996, through agreements adding up to almost 5,000 million pesos, to ensure and expand its mining projects. Jaime Blanco, a Drummond contractor in charge of supplying food for La Loma mine workers, confessed to using his company Servicios y Alimentación (ISA) as a mechanism to channel money from Drummond in favor of the Northern Bloc of the AUC through cost overruns in food contracts." Through these alliances, paramilitaries assisted in taking land from peasants and giving it in mining titles to Drummond. In 2012, the alliances between paramilitaries and mining companies including Drummond resulted in the murder of landowners in Mechoacán and El Prado, as well as other human rights violations.[17][18]

In 2013, after "continuously fail[ing] to retool its operations" per a Colombian government mandate, Drummond was forced to pay a $3.6 million fine, according to In These Times.

In 2013, a ship carrying coal at Puerto Drummond overturned, spilling hundreds of tons of coal into the water.[19] As a result, the Colombian government suspended Drummond's export license for nearly a month and implemented a new regulation requiring direct ship loading as of 1 January 2014.[4]

Drummond blamed the spill in part on construction delays tied to a 2013 mine workers' strike. According to In These Times, "the unrest that led to that labor action arguably stems from the same situation environmentalists blame for the dumping: the notorious impunity of many multinationals in the Global South, particularly in the energy sectors, which exploit poor countries' resources and workers to feed carbon-burning industries abroad."[19]

In September 2017, a senior construction supervisor was killed by a falling electric gate in the warehouse area of Pribbenow mine.[20]

Project Details

  • Owner: Drummond International LLC[5]
  • Parent company: Drummond Company Inc[5]
  • Location: Cesar Coal Basin between La Loma and and La Jagua de Ibirico.[1][2][4]
  • GPS coordinates: 9.567351, -73.500957
  • Mine status: Operating[1]
  • Start year: "early 1990s"[3]
  • Mineable reserves: 561.2 million tonnes[2]
  • Coal type: bituminous[4]
  • Mine size: 6,600 hectares[3]
  • Mine type: Surface
  • Production: 7.6 million tonnes (2021)[5]
  • Additional proposed production:
  • Equipment: 21 diesel-fueled generator (Caterpillar® 3516 and 3516B), 21 apron feeders, Marion 8750 Dragline, 145 793B, 793C and 793D Cat trucks, Caterpillar Customer Communication system and Allan Bradley RS Logix 500, KRUPP Conveyor System Spreaders[2]
  • Number of employees:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Drummond Ltd. Colombia mines organizational website, accessed Nov. 10, 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Viewpoint Mining Magazine Power — a driving force at Drummond’s Mina Pribbenow Viewpoint Mining Magazine accessed Nov 10, 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jack Kimball, Jackie Cowhig, and David Gregorio FACTBOX-Coal miner Drummond's operations in Colombia AP News Oct. 4, 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Wood Mackenzie Pribeenow Coal Mine Asset Report Summary, accessed Nov. 10, 2019
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 "2021 Sustainability Report (pp 12, 19-21, 57, 70)". Drummond Ltd. Colombia. January 31, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Otrosí No. 15 al Contrato de Exploración y Explotación Minera Carbonífera No. 078- 88, Suscrito enter la Agencia Nacional de Minería y Drummond Ltd. (p 15)" (PDF). Agencia Nacional de Minería - Ministerio de Minas y Energía. January 22, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. Julia Cobb Colombia extends Drummond contract on coal mine for 20 years Reuters, Jan 20, 2019
  8. "Drummond cerró el año 2019 como el mayor productor de carbón por cuarta vez consecutiva: 32.7 millones de toneladas". Drummond Ltd. January 23, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. "Drummond le apuesta a exportar 32.5 millones de toneladas en 2019". Radio Guatapurí. August 27, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 "Drummond El Cifras 2022". Drummond Ltd. January 1, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. 11.0 11.1 "2020 Sustainability Report (p 31)". Drummond Ltd. Colombia. January 2021.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "2019 Sustainability Report (p 42)". Drummond Ltd. Colombia. January 2020.
  13. "ITOCHU Corporation Invests in Drummond Company Colombian Mines | Press Releases | ITOCHU Corporation". ITOCHU Corporation. June 16, 2011.
  14. "Drummond to partially restart Colombian coal operations". S&P Global. April 9, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. bnamericas Drummond scraps plans to sell Colombia coal mine bnamericas, Nov 8, 2018
  16. Steven Greenhouse Alabama Coal Giant Is Sued Over 3 Killings in Colombia New York Times March 22, 2002
  17. "Comisión de la Verdad señala que sí existieron alianzas entre paramilitares y multinacionales mineras en Colombia". Infobae. 14 agosto 2022. Retrieved 3 October 2022. {{cite news}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. "Jaime Blanco Maya, excontratista de la Drummond pedirá perdón a víctimas de las AUC en el Caribe colombiano". Infobae. 20 septiembre 2022. Retrieved 3 October 2022. {{cite news}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Michelle Chen Coal Spill Puts Spotlight on Colombia’s Labor and Environmental Struggles In These Times Jan 24, 2014
  20. "Muere supervisor de Drummond en accidente en mina del Cesar". Petrol News / El Heraldo. 25 septiembre 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2022. {{cite news}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)

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