Drummond Company

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Drummond Company, Inc.
Industry Coal Mining
Founded 1935
Founder Heman Edward Drummond
Headquarters Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Key people
Michael J. Tracy, Chief Executive Officer
Jack Stilwell, Chief Financial Officer
Products Coal, By-Products, and Real Estate
Revenue Increase$5.00 billion USD (2010)
Number of employees
5,100 (2006)
Website http://www.drummondco.com/

Drummond Company, Inc. is a privately owned company based in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, involved in the mining and processing of coal and coal products as well as oil and real estate.


Belt conveyor for coal transportation owned and operated by Drummond Company, located between the city of Santa Marta and the town of Cienaga by the Caribbean sea in Colombia.

The company was founded in Jasper, Alabama in 1935 by Heman Edward Drummond, an Alabama coal miner.[1][2][3] Drummond started mining on land he inherited from his family; he used mules to drag coal out of the mines.[1] When Drummond died in 1956, the company remained family-owned.[1]

In 1970, the company signed a contract to sell coal to Japanese steel companies.[4][clarification needed]

In 1973, Garry N. Drummond, one of the founder's seven children, was appointed as Chairman.[2] He still serves in this capacity.[4] Another son, Elbert Allen Drummond, a.k.a. Larry Drummond, served as Vice Chairman until his death in 2012.[5]

In 2003, the company was sued by Colombian widows and orphans of three labor union leaders who were murdered by paramilitaries near Drummond mines.[6] The lawsuit accused Drummond of "supporting paramilitary fighters at its facilities, thereby making Drummond liable for the deaths."[6] It was known as Estate of Rodriquez v. Drummond Co.. By 2009, the United States Department of Justice had not found sufficient evidence and ruled in favor of the company, concluding that it had never supported any action of illegal groups.[7]

In February 2013, journalist Alejandro Arias reported with photographic evidence dumping of hundreds of tons of coal into the Caribbean Sea by the company a month earlier.[8] Based on this evidence the Colombian Government temporarily suspended some operations of the company in Santa Marta where the incident occurred.[8] Drummond was also fined US$3.6 million.[9]

As of December 2013, the company employed a workforce of 6,600, with annual sales of US$3 billion.[2] It was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.[1]

In 2015, the Drummond Company sued attorneys Terrence P. Collingsworth and William R. Scherer, the advocacy group International Rights Advocates (IRAdvocates), and Dutch businessman Albert van Bilderbeek, one of the owners of Llanos Oil, accusing them of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by alleging that Drummond had worked alongside Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia to murder labor union leaders within proximity of their Colombian coal mines, which Drummond denies.[10]

Assets and operations[edit]

Coal mines[edit]

Drummond operates the Shoal Creek mine in northwestern part of Jefferson County in Alabama.[11] Output from Shoal Creek is sold to Alabama Power under long-term supply contracts.

It operated the Pribbenow and El Descanso mines near La Loma in the Cesar Department in northern Colombia. Both mines produce bituminous coal. Production from Pribbenow, comprising almost 50% of all coal mined in Colombia, is exported to 11 countries. The company is "Colombia’s second-biggest thermal coal producer."[12]

Perry Supply[edit]

The company owns Perry Supply, a subsidiary founded in 1913, which sells "mining, foundry, construction, and industrial supplies."[13]

Foundry coke[edit]

The company also owns Alabama By-Products Corporation, also known as ABC Coke, located in Tarrant, Alabama.[2] According to Forbes, it is "the largest single producer of foundry coke in the U.S.."[2]

Jasper Oil[edit]

The company owns Jasper Oil, a subsidiary founded in 1967, which produces both diesel and refined gasoline.[14]

Real estate[edit]

The company manages "four luxury planned communities in Alabama, Florida and California."[4] In 1985, they developed their first community: Oakbridge in Lakeland, Florida.[3] Over the years, they developed Liberty Park in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, as well as Rancho La Quinta and Andalusia at Coral Mountain in La Quinta, California.[1]