(Bettercoal Press Release) Bettercoal completes first site-assessment at Drummond Ltd’s Colombian operations

Press Release

22 August 2014

Bettercoal completes first site-assessment at
Drummond Ltd’s Colombian operations

–     Independent third-party assessors review ethical, social and environmental performance of Pribbenow and El Descanso operations

–     Bettercoal’s continuous improvement model will drive performance improvement at the mines  

Bettercoal has reached another milestone in completing its first ever site-assessment at Drummond Ltd’s Colombian operations.  Independent third-party assessors conducted a comprehensive review of the company’s mining operations against the Bettercoal Code, focusing on the assessment of both management systems and performance measures.  The independent assessor’s report on the mine’s ethical, social and environmental performance indicates that Drummond Ltd.’s operations are in good alignment with the Bettercoal Code. Any opportunities for improvement were incorporated into a time-bound Corrective Action Plan produced and agreed upon as part of this process and that the mining company has committed to implement. Importantly, the process will provide the members of Bettercoal (coal buyers) with robust, objective information that enables them to make informed purchasing decisions.

Martin Christie, Executive Director of Bettercoal said: “We have demonstrated that the model of engagement and continuous improvement works. Through the Bettercoal process we have been able not only to identify areas where Drummond Ltd. is performing well, but also where the company can focus its efforts and resources to further support its social and environmental performance.  Drummond Ltd. and Bettercoal have agreed on a timetable for the Corrective Action Plan so that Bettercoal can provide further assurance to its members that the mining company has fully met its commitments.”

Jose Miguel Linares, President of Drummond Ltd said, “The engagement with Bettercoal has been a productive one for us.  It was reassuring to know that we are performing well against many measures of the Bettercoal Code.  However, any business can always improve and we already have in place several programs to do so, which were recognized in the Bettercoal assessment process.  In addition to this, we are committed to implementing the recommendations that we have received from Bettercoal and so we can demonstrate to our customers and stakeholders that we are a reliable and responsible supplier, seeking to align with the high standard set by the Bettercoal Code. ”

In just over two years, Bettercoal has moved from the development of a robust, new mining Code and assessment toolkit through to commissioning mine self-assessments and on-site assessments.

Coal suppliers will be assessed against the Bettercoal Code which builds upon existing mining standards and recognizes current best practice in the industry. There was no global standard on corporate responsibility in coal mining before Bettercoal developed its Code.  The self-assessment questionnaire has been developed by Bettercoal as a tool to allow coal suppliers to assess their current ethical, environmental, human rights and social performance against the Bettercoal Code. Bettercoal will also commission on-site assessments conducted by accredited independent 3rd party assessors. The assessments will lead to agreed continuous improvement plans at the mine. The results of these assessments will be shared between the members of Bettercoal.



Notes to editors:

Bettercoal is a global not-for-profit membership-based organisation.  The initiative is open for membership to major coal users from anywhere in the world, including energy utilities and industrial players such as cement manufacturers and steel makers.

Currently, Bettercoal members represent some 56% of the total volume of thermal coal imported into Europe and some 40% of the total volume of thermal coal consumption in Europe.

Drummond Ltd. is owned by Drummond International, LLC., a company based in Alabama, USA owned by Drummond Company Inc. and its affiliates (80%) and ITOCHU Coal Americas (20%).  Drummond Ltd.’s integrated coal production and transportation operation in northern Colombia currently includes: (1) two open-pit coal mines (Mina Pribbenow and El Descanso) located near the town of La Loma, (2) additional reserves at Sororia, Rincón Hondo and Similoa, (3) an ocean port (Puerto Drummond) located on the Caribbean Sea, (4) the Company’s 40.96% equity participation in Fenoco, the company that has the Colombian Government’s railroad concession, and (5) rail transportation and coal handling facilities that link the 120-mile distance between the coal mine and the port.


For further information please contact:

Martin Christie, Executive Director, Bettercoal:
Tel:      +44 7917 214 311+44 7917 214 311
Email: martin.christie@bettercoal .org.

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