UPDATE 1-Strike-hit Coal miner Drummond calls force majeure
* Drummond is Colombia's second-biggest coal producer
* Major supplier to Europe and Middle East utilities.
LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - U.S coal miner Drummond has declared force majeure on some cargoes from Colombian mining operations that have been hit by a strike since July 23, two buyers of the company's coal said on Thursday.
"Drummond declared force majeure only for cargoes that were in the vicinity of the loading port, which will impact a limited number of buyers in the near term," a trader for one of the buyers said, quoting correspondence sent by the second-largest coal producer in Colombia.
Another buyer confirmed that Drummond, which exports around 500,000 tonnes of coal a week, had sent notification to customers, who are mainly in Europe and the Middle East.
Officials at Drummond, which has two mines and a port in Colombia, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Force majeure allows a company to suspend contractual obligations in the face of unexpected events including strikes and natural disasters.
Prices for prompt physical were bid higher on Thursday as traders anticipated some additional tightness in the market due to the strike.
Coal delivered into Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp (ARA) ports for August was bid at $77.00 a tonne, up almost $2 from Wednesday's settlement of $75.10, the highest level since early June.
A strike was called late on Tuesday after Drummond and the Sintramienergetica union, which represents about half of Drummond's roughly 10,000 workers, had been in negotiations for weeks over pay and planned job cuts.