New Colombia Resources has intends to develop a 2,900 acre coal mine in Colombia. The project seeks to uncover “blue gem” coal and will be developed jointly with an unnamed construction company in China and a group of firms that, according to New Colombia Resources, includes “a large power company from Korea interested in building clean coal fired power plants near the coal concession.”
The project will span two municipalities, Guaduas and Caparrapi, in the department of Cundinamarca near the Magdelena River, Colombia’s largest, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Bogotá. The total investment of $200 million USD includes land purchasing, development costs for the coal mine, and working capital.
Blue gem coal gets its value due to having a composition that makes it suitable for specialty metals and, especially, the production of Silicone. It has historically been found predominantly in the United States near the Kentucky and Tennessee border, according to the company.
“Because of its purity, Blue Gem is one of the most sought-after grades of coal in the world and is exported to many different countries,” Scott Clark, of Kentucky’s New Century Coal, told the local Times Tribune.
New Colombia Resources is optimistic about Colombia’s potential to be a new exporter of the specialty product given changes in traditional supply dynamics. “Blue Gem coal miners in Kentucky are shutting down operations due to over-regulation, creating a supply void the company intends to fill,” said the company in a statement.
The project has been approved by Colombia’s federal mining regulator, the Agencia Nacional de Mineria, in the capital.