BOGOTA, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Colombia's third-quarter coal production rose 18.7% versus the same period in 2020, the ministry of mines and energy said on Friday, while forecasting that total coal production will close 2021 10% higher than in the previous year.
The Andean country produced 12.9 million tonnes of coal in the three months ended Sept. 30. Major exporter Colombia's output of the fossil fuel slid 40% in 2020 due to a national coronavirus lockdown and a 91-day strike at a major mine.
Though no comparative figure was provided, coal output for the third quarter of 2020 was reported last year at 11 million tonnes.
Full-year production is expected to hit 54 million tonnes this year, the ministry said in a statement, adding that demand is expected to grow.
"In addition to thermal coal, the demand for metallurgical coal and coke is expected to continue to increase, as they are essential for the production of steel," the ministry said.
Gold production in the third quarter was 8.62 tonnes, the ministry said. Though no comparative figure was provided, the ministry reported gold output of 14.2 tonnes in November 2020 for the year-earlier period.
Third-quarter nickel output dropped 3.6% to 21.2 million pounds, the ministry said, while iron production rose 2.6% to 204,916 tonnes. (Reporting by Oliver Griffin; editing by Grant McCool)
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