|Headquarters||Bogotá,DC - Colombia
Albania, La Guajira
|Owner(s)||Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Xstrata|
Cerrejón is a thermal coal producer and exporter operating in La Guajira department, Colombia. Its operations include an open-pit mine producing over 32 million tonnes of coal a year, a 150-km railway line, and Puerto Bolívar, a maritime shipping terminal servicing vessels of up to 180,000 tonnes. The added value of this mining operation lies in its integrated operation (mine-railway-port), which is unique in Colombia. The integration guarantees greater production efficiency and less environmental impact.
- The mine is located between the municipalities of Albania, Barrancas, and Hatonuevo in La Guajira, and has estimated resources of 5,244.20 million tonnes of coal.
- It has maintenance workshops covering over 26,000 m2, where the mining equipment is checked and repaired (preventive, scheduled, and reactive maintenance).
- Each train can haul 109 freight wagons, each of which has a nominal carrying capacity of 96 to 110 tonnes of coal.
- Puerto Bolívar is Cerrejón's coal terminal. It has had a direct-loading system since 1985. The navigable channel is 19 metres deep, 225 metres wide, and four kilometres long. It is one of the largest coal maritime ports in South America with clean technology.
- The port also has a supply dock for ships of up to 70,000 tonnes carrying machinery, spare parts, fuel, and other supply goods for the mining operation.
- 1 Integrated Operation
- 2 Cerrejón History
- 3 Extraction Process
- 4 Responsible Mining
- 5 Awards and Certifications
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- From 1985 to 2011, Cerrejón produced 508.8 million tonnes of coal and generated US$ 2,006 million in royalties. In 2011 alone, sales generated US$ 336.60 million for the country as a whole and the region of La Guajira.
- By the end of 2011, Cerrejón had reached an historical production figure of 32.03 million tonnes to the following markets: Europe (58%), the Mediterranean and Asia (21%), Central and South America (12%), and North America (9%).
- These external sales represent 40% of Colombia's coal sales and 4.6% of global coal sales.
- Cerrejón's directly employed workforce numbers 5,373 workers (62% from La Guajira, 28% from other parts of the Caribbean coast, and 10% from the rest of the country).
- In addition, a further 4,497 workers are employed indirectly through contractor firms for the operation.
Cerrejón has a mining fleet comprising 493 pieces of equipment: 258 trucks with a load capacity of 190, 240, and 320 tonnes, 50 hydraulic shovels, and 185 pieces of auxiliary equipment.
- A 320-tonne truck can haul a load equivalent to approximately 10 tractor trailers. In Colombia, a tractor trailer hauls 30 to 35 tonnes.
- A P&H 2800XPC shovel has a load capacity equivalent to the weight of 40 automobiles, that is, approximately 63.5 tonnes.
- A PC8000 shovel can manage a load equivalent to 50 automobiles (approximately 75.3 tonnes).
- Cerrejón uses the only standard-gauge railway in the country
- The tracks are 150 km in length, connecting the mine with Puerto Bolívar
- Largest coal-export port in Latin America
- Covered conveyor belts and a direct-loading system since 1985
- Receives vessels of up to 180,000 tonnes
- 3,500 m of runway; Mine: 1,700 metres Puerto Bolívar: 1,600 metres
- Restricted flight area
Mine-Puerto Bolívar Motorway
- A motorway 150 km long for operational support and access for the population of La Guajira since 1982. It links the southern part of the department with the northern part.
Mushaisa Residential Unit
- Complete infrastructure for housing, commercial shops, and services for 2,200 residents
- 297 houses, 430 apartments, and a hotel for over 200 people
- Albania School: a bilingual school with a very high ICFES ranking. It is currently ranked 47 out of 12,273 educational institutions in the country
Inter-town Transport Service
- Free daily transportation for 4,500 employees and 300 contractors from their homes to the workplace
- Average distance covered: 20,000 kilometres a day
Cerrejón North Zone
In December 1976, a partnership contract was signed between Carbocol SA, a state-owned firm, and Intercor, an Exxon Mobil subsidiary, to develop the north zone of Cerrejón. This contract considered three stages: exploration (1977–1980), construction (1981–1986), and production (1986–2009). In January 1999, the Colombian government extended the concession for a further 25 years, to 2034.
- In November 2000, the Colombian government sold its Carbocol SA shares (50%) in the partnership contract Cerrejón North Zone to a consortium comprising subsidiaries of BHP Billiton, Anglo American, and Glencore International AG. Subsequently, Glencore sold its shares to Xstrata.
- In February 2002, this consortium acquired the remaining 50% of shares from Intercor (owned by Exxon Mobil), thereby becoming sole owners of the Cerrejón North Zone.
- In November 2002, the merger between Intercor and Cerrejón Coal Ltd was formalized, and the official name of Intercor was changed to Cerrejón Coal Limited (Cerrejón).
Cerrejón Central Zone
In this zone, there are two areas under concession:
- The Central Deposit (El Cerrejón community) has been in production since 1981 via contracts with different companies (a Domi Prodeco Auxini consortium, Carbones del Caribe, and others). In 1995, Glencore acquired Prodeco, creating Cerrejón Coal Ltd, and then in 1997, Anglo American became involved in the business. In 2000, BHP Billiton became the third partner.
- The Oreganal Deposit (state-owned) was initially under concession to Carbones del Caribe by the national government. Then, in 1995, the concession passed to Oreganal SA which, in turn, ceded its shares to Cerrejón Coal.
In 2001, after a public tender, this area was ceded to a consortium comprising Cerrejón Coal Limited (previously Intercor) and Cerrejón North Zone SA, which are both currently owned by subsidiaries of BHP Billiton, Anglo American, and Xstrata.
Cerrejón South Zone
In 1997, after a tender process, the exploration and mining contract for this zone was awarded to the consortium now comprising subsidiaries of BHP Billiton, Anglo American, and Xstrata. Currently, the Cerrejón South Zone is under exploration.
The extraction process begins with the identification and relocation of wildlife in the area slated for intervention. Then the land is cleared and the topsoil is removed and stored in soil banks for the future reclamation of areas intervened by the mining operation. Subsequently, the area is drilled and explosives inserted for blasting so the hydraulic shovels can remove the overburden. This waste rock is loaded on 240-tonne and 320-tonne trucks and deposited in waste rock dump sites.
- Once the coal seams are exposed, the tractors pile up the coal and it is loaded onto 190-tonne trucks.
- The coal is taken to one of two crushing plants and piled in accordance with its quality and calorific value.
- The plant crushes the coal and transports it via conveyor belt to the top of the silos for loading onto rail wagons.
- The train then sets off on its 150 kilometre journey to Puerto Bolívar.
- At the unloading station, the train unloads the coal and the conveyor belts transport it to the three stacker-reclaimers, which unload it onto the storage piles. It is later reclaimed and sent to the linear ship-loader, which places it directly in the holds of the coal ships, which then set sail to various countries worldwide.
Cerrejón's commitment with sustainability is reflected in its formulation of a corporate identity and culture, The Cerrejón Way, which sets targets aimed at:
- Benefiting communities
- Complying with the highest international standards
- Increasing the trust of its stakeholders
- Positioning itself at the forefront of responsible mining
- Innovation, self-determination, and autonomy of its workers
Cerrejón is committed to the prevention, mitigation, and compensation for the effects caused by the mining operation. Therefore, it is developing diverse programs in the context of the best operational standards to ensure the minimal environmental impact possible and the care of the populations, both of humans and wildlife, that surround it.
The main programs are:
- Water Quality Control and Management. The Environmental Management Plan includes, both at the mine and Puerto Bolívar, control measures aimed at the prevention of possible effects on water resources that may arise from the operations.
- Biodiversity Care. The company identifies wildlife specimens in new mining areas for their relocation to undisturbed or reclaimed zones having sufficient food supplies to ensure their survival.
- Air-Quality Control. The air-quality management system covers the air-quality predictive process in the communities around the operations through atmospheric dispersion models, the wetting of roads with a tanker fleet, and the monitoring and follow-up on the effectiveness of the measures adopted through the sampling network for total suspended and inhalable dust.
- Solid Waste Management. An integrated management plan for solid waste residue that complies with environmental legislation in force. It includes the separation and classification of waste, the recovery and sale of recyclable material, and the management and final disposal of ordinary and hazardous waste.
- Environmental Education Programs. Programs focused on raising community awareness to the care of plants and animals, and to the rational use of natural resources.
- Land Rehabilitation and Management. Through this program, more than 3,000 hectares of land that was disturbed by the mining process have been rehabilitated, more than 36 million cubic metres of topsoil have been preserved, and more than a million trees from 40 native species have been reintroduced.
An estimated 234 thousand people reside in the neighbouring areas: 219,649 people at the mine; 323 Wayuu communities on the railway line comprising 14,000 inhabitants; and 13 communities in 226 households in Puerto Bolívar totalling 1,180 residents.
The main programs that Cerrejón has under way are: healthcare initiatives, job creation, recreation, culture, and sports to benefit the communities in the area of influence.
- Fulbright-Cerrejón scholarship for La Guajira. This is an agreement with Fulbright Colombia to select a Guajiro professional academic or researcher to whom a scholarship is granted to pursue master’s or doctoral studies in the United States. As of 2012, four scholarships have been granted.
- Mobile Healthcare Units. Mobile healthcare units have cared for approximately 10,500 people in 34 different communities, who receive both general and specialized medical care, as well as medication needed for the treatment of their illnesses.
- Cerrejón Symphony Orchestra. This initiative seeks to foster the talent of 90 young Guajiros aged 12 to 17.
- Resettlement Processes. Cerrejón has under way five collective resettlement projects in the communities of Roche, Las Casitas, Tamaquito II, Patilla, and Chancleta. They are all located in the municipality of Barrancas in the department of La Guajira. The projects are undertaken in accordance with the World Bank guidelines of and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The Patilla project is the furthest advanced, as the residents moved to the new location in June 2012. Work is now being carried out on starting and continuing sustainable production projects for the social and economic benefit of this community.
The Cerrejón Foundations System  was created in 2008 to impact four areas targeting the development and sustainability of La Guajira: the promotion of entrepreneurial undertakings, the sound management of water resources, institutional strengthening, and support for indigenous communities. Each foundation has developed a work scheme with objectives, challenges, an independent and qualified management committee, and resources solely destined to the specific tasks of each initiative.
- Cerrejón Foundation for Progress in La Guajira. Focused on investment in financial, technical, and human terms for the consolidation of a sustainable business culture that generates employment for the department.
- Cerrejón Foundation for Water in La Guajira. Providing solutions to water supply, sanitation and hygiene, and the integrated management of water resources are at the forefront of actions by this foundation.
- Cerrejón Foundation for Indigenous Development in La Guajira. Focused on driving the overall and cultural development of the ethnicities in the department, which represent 44% of the population of La Guajira and an invaluable wealth for Colombia and the world.
- Cerrejón Foundation for the Institutional Strengthening Focuses on promoting transparent and participatory public administration in the department through exemplary institutional administration by local governments and authorities.
Awards and Certifications
Cruz Esmeralda medal for merit
- Acknowledges the administration and good results in safety in 2011, awarded by the Colombian Safety Council
BRITCHAM LAZOS 2011 Social Responsibility Award
- Honourable Mention for a high-impact innovative program in the department of La Guajira
Portafolio Awards 2011
- In the category of Corporate Social Responsibility
National Prize for Social Responsibility 2011 by Comfamiliar del Huila
- Category of Best Experience in Community Benefits
BRITCHAM LAZOS 2010 Social Responsibility Award
- Category Best Environmental Practices
Award for Environmental Responsibility 2009 in Research and Projects
- For the land reclamation program, organized by the Foundation for Sustainable Development of Siembra Colombia and the British Embassy in Colombia.
- NTC-ISO 17025 accreditation by IDEAM
- ISO 14001 (Environmental Management)
- OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety)
After pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, in 2011 Cerrejón received the necessary approvals to proceed with the expansion project, which will allow it to increase its production and export capacity by 25% to reach 40 million tonnes of production and export annually by 2015.
- Estimated investment of US$ 1.3 billion during project execution.
- More than 5,000 additional jobs are expected to be created (direct and indirect).
- The project consists in increasing the production of current pits (Tabaco, La Puente, Oreganal, Tajo 100, and Comuneros), increasing the crushing capacity and train transport infrastructure, and expanding the maintenance workshops.
- In addition, a second shiploader is planned and the dredged zone will be expanded for vessel manoeuvres at Puerto Bolívar.
- From 2015, with the export of 40 million tonnes of coal yearly, the projected value of exports will be approximately US$ 4 billion yearly (a figure based on current prices).
- Cerrejón Coal website. Contains information on operations as well as the company's environmental and community projects.
- . Information from BHP Billiton on the mine.