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Monitoring network confirms water quality at Cerrejón

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World Coal,

A 52-station monitoring system confirms the good flow and quality of the water of the Ranchería River as it passes through the Cerrejón operation. The system is made up of 49 company stations that reported that the quality of the river water has remained within the limits established by Colombian regulations and is suitable for domestic use, together with 3 IDEAM stations that confirmed the increase in the flow as it passes through the operation by more than 30%. This compliance is established by a certified laboratory, and is also verified by departmental and national environmental authorities such as the National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA) and Corpoguajira.

“This is a result that makes us proud because it demonstrates our commitment to the conservation and protection of the water sources that run through our operation. In addition, it is important to remember that at Cerrejón, 85% of the water used in mining processes comes from rain runoff and coal seams and is used to control dust emissions from operations, which is not It is suitable for human consumption, animal, or agricultural use. The remaining 15% is captured from the Ranchería River and its alluvial aquifer, for consumption by employees and contractors, their families, and delivery to the communities in the area of influence. In Puerto Bolívar, 100% of the water used comes from the sea and is made drinkable in a desalination plant,” said Luis Francisco Madriñan, Manager of Environmental Management at Cerrejón.

The monitoring network, which is present both in the Ranchería River and in its tributary streams, manages to take measurements upstream of the operation, within the mining area and downstream of the mine. Likewise, there is real-time monitoring of the operation's water management and treatment systems, which is the basis of the early warning system for preventive decision-making to avoid possible effects on this water resource.

The company has stations that are monitoring the parameters established in Colombian regulations and measure both elements associated with mining activity, as well as those associated with other activities; For example, fecal coliforms from livestock activities and domestic wastewater, which represent the highest percentage of findings. This information is useful material to know the real state of the river and make decisions or actions in favour of its conservation.

At Cerrejón, the preservation of the water quality of the Ranchería River has been developed through Comprehensive Water Management, which implements actions from the mining planning process, defines the responsible use of water in the operation and is strengthened thanks to the work to protect and conserve the watersheds within the mine.

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