Wyoming loses nearly 500 coal jobs - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Wyoming loses nearly 500 coal jobs

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Market conditions continue to depress the coal industry and on Thursday two of the biggest coal companies in the world cut hundreds of jobs in Wyoming.

Peabody Energy cites "weak market conditions" as the reason it will lay off 235 employees from the North Antelope Rochelle Mine in the Powder River Basin.  

And  Arch Coal announced it will lay off  243 workers, or 15 percent of its workforce, at the Black Thunder mine.

"While our asset position and contracting strategies give us relative strength, we are taking these actions to match production with customer demand," said Peabody President Americas Kemal Williamson.  "We regret the impact of these actions on our employees, their families, and the surrounding communities in the Campbell and Converse county areas."

Arch Coal also issued a statement late Thursday afternoon.

“We regret the need for this difficult step and the impacts it will have on our employees, their families and the local community,” said Keith Williams, Arch’s president of Western operations. “We have made every effort to preserve as many positions as possible, and this decision was made only after a number of other cost-cutting measures were exhausted. We deeply value the hard work, professionalism, and significant contributions of the employees who have been affected by this reduction in force. We want to thank the employees for their years of faithful and dedicated service to Black Thunder.”  

Even with the downturn, Arch expects the Powder River Basin to remain an essential energy source.  

Arch filed for bankruptcy protection in mid-January this year. Peabody filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission two weeks ago warning they may be forced to file for protection.   



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