Some Montana Coal Mines May Shut Down Over Next Decade

May 25, 2018

Several big coal mines in Montana and Wyoming are projected to close within the next two decades. The mines' owner, Westmoreland Coal Company, is on the brink of bankruptcy.

In a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company listed the estimated closure dates for several mines they own in the Powder River Basin, which is the nation’s largest coal producing region.

The mines include one on the Crow Reservation in Montana that could shutter in four years and the massive Rosebud mine near Colstrip which could shut down operations by 2029.

Westmoreland’s three mines in Montana employ more than 500 people and generate tens of millions of dollars in state and federal tax revenues. The Absaloka mine could shutter over the next four years and the massive Rosebud mine near Colstrip could shut down by 2029.  

The company publishes life expectancies for those mines every year. A spokesperson for Westmoreland declined an interview for this story.