Argos to sell La Jagua coal mine, Colombia

Argos to sell La Jagua coal mine, Colombia
Published: 01 September 2004

Colombia’s leading cement producer Argos and its affiliates are to sell the La Jagua coal mine in César department to Swiss-based Glencore International, Argos said in a filing to Colombia’s securities regulator.

The sale by Argos and affiliates Cementos del Caribe and CI Carbones del Caribe is to be completed December 31. A price for the transaction has not been given.

In April, Cementos del Caribe and CI Carbones del Caribe announced their intention to sell La Jagua and the Cerro Largo coal prospect that between them have total reserves of 130Mt of coal. Colombia is one of the five largest coal exporters with sales of 40Mt/y and proven reserves are about 7Bt.

The statement said the deal would allow the group to focus on its strategic objectives including concentrating on the cement business, consolidating its Colombian market presence and expanding its international scope.

Cemento Argos has a 52% share of the Colombian cement market. Its domestic portfolio includes cement plants Cementos Caribe (69%), Río Claro (13%), Paz del Río (25%), Nare (14%) and El Cairo (95%). The company also has holdings in Panama, Venezuela and other Central American countries.

For the first half, Argos posted a 41.5% increase in profits to 94.2bn pesos (US$37.1m) compared to 1H03.