Powder River Basin Coal Mine Closing
Written by Taylor on February 11, 2021
A second Wyoming coal mine is set to close this year in the Powder River Basin. The Coal Creek mine, owned by Arch Resources Inc., announced the closure on Tuesday over the next two years as the company transitions away from thermal coal to metallurgic coal.
Powder River Basin mines produce about 40% of the nation’s thermal coal but, has been gradually pushed out of energy production by demand for natural gas and renewable energy production.
Arch coal posted a 78.5-million-dollar loss in the 4th quarter of 2020 and arch CEO Paul Lang issued a statement.
“We are driving ahead with our strategic pivot with a strong sense of urgency.” Lang continued, “Our objective is to continue to harvest value and cash from our legacy thermal assets, even as we execute on reducing our long-term closure obligations in a measured, systematic and sustained way.”
The statement also said the company would undergo an “accelerated closure and final reclamation” of the mine of the next two years.
Recent employment numbers indicate that the mine employed 78 workers during the last quarter of 2020, about half the number of employees working there five years ago. Paul Lang indicated the company intends to reduce the workforce in a “employee sensitive way” primarily through attrition.
Lang said “We are tremendously proud of the accomplishments of our talented, dedicated and resilient thermal operating teams, who have shown their mettle again and again in a difficult and declining demand environment. We value and appreciate their staunch commitment to operating at the highest level while adjusting effectively and nimbly to the realities of the current market environment.”