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Colombian Rebels Attack BHP, Anglo American Coal Mine

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Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- BHP Billiton Plc, Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc’s Cerrejon coal mine was sabotaged by rebels twice in five days as attacks on energy infrastructure climb in Colombia. Production was unaffected.

Cerrejon, Colombia’s largest coal producer, expects to begin repairing a railway where the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia placed explosives early today, Julian Gonzalez, a spokesman for the mine, said in a phone interview from Bogota.

“There has been an increase in terrorist attacks,” he said. Guerrillas also blasted the mine’s equipment this weekend.

Sabotage of pipelines owned by Ecopetrol SA led the state-run oil company to cut this year’s crude production target. Rebel groups more than tripled assaults on pipelines to 67 in the first half of this year, according to government figures.

No one was injured in the incidents at Cerrejon, Gonzalez said.

Output from the Cerrejon mine is expected to rise to 34 million metric tons in 2013 and 37 million tons in 2014, before reaching a target of 40 million tons in 2017 as part of an expansion plan the company announced last year, Cerrejon’s former Chief Executive Officer Leon Teicher said last year. Output was about 32 million tons in 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Walsh in Bogota at hlwalsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net