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Bidders for Cerrejon confirmed.

According to BNamericas.com, UK-based Billiton and Anglo American and Switzerland's Glencore - all 33% owners of Carbones delCerrejon (CdelC) - and US-based Drummond have all confirmed their interest in Colombian state mining company Carbocol's 50% stake in El Cerrejon Zona Norte (CZN). A Carbocol spokesperson confirmed the companies' interest, adding that the prospective bidders are undertaking due diligence studies. Bidding is set to start at some $430 million and Carbocol planned to award the winner on August 3. Exxon owns the other 50% of CZN, through its subsidiary Intercor. The CZN mine is in La Guajira department, adjacent to CdelC.

Glencore also owns 100% of the SEI Prodeco coal mine, which has a production capacity of up to 7 Mt/y of steaming coal, but where production is currently suspended for "market and economic reasons," according to a spokesperson. SEI has port handling and associated infrastructure facilities as well as the mine itself.

Meanwhile, state electricity entity FEN extended from June 29 until July 28 the deadline for subscriptions to 84.9 million shares in the Cerrejon Norte company, which will be formed by Carbocol's other assets. The share sale is directed at unions, cooperatives and workers.

CZN's Phase 1 expansion was inaugurated in early July. This represents a $43 million investment and should increase exports to 22 Mt/y from 17 Mt/y. Work completed in this included an expansion of the mining complex's coal haulage, transport, handling and storage facilities, and an increase in the capacity of the coal port.

In the same Cerrejon region, Chilean energy company Gener has sold its 60% stake in Carbones Colombianos del Cerrejon (CCC) to Switzerland's Masefield AG for $20.9 million. Colombian group MMT holds the remaining 40% of CCC.

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Title Annotation:Billiton PLC and Anglo American Coal Corporation Ltd.
Publication:Mining Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2000
Words:288
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