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Montana Coal Mine Owner Declares Bankruptcy

Alexander G

The operator of the Decker coal mine in Montana announced bankruptcy and layoffs Dec. 03 due to poor coal market conditions.

Utah based Lighthouse Resources filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the District of Delaware Thursday.

The company in a press release cited market conditions and other economic hurdles connected with COVID-19. Lighthouse’s subsidiary, Decker Mine Company, operates near the Wyoming border in southeast Montana’s Big Horn County. Lighthouse said in the press release it will reduce operations at Decker.

Its other holdings, Millennium Bulk Terminals in Washington State and part of the Black Butte Mine in Wyoming, will function as usual. The company this year reported a drop in coal export sales and furloughed Decker Mine workers in both May and September.

The mine let 76 people go Dec. 2., just over half its workforce of 135, according to a Lighthouse Spokesperson.

Copyright 2020 Yellowstone Public Radio

Kayla Desroches reports for Yellowstone Public Radio in Billings. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and stayed in the city for college, where she hosted a radio show that featured serialized dramas like the Shadow and Suspense. In her pathway to full employment, she interned at WNYC in New York City and KTOO in Juneau, Alaska. She then spent a few years on the island of Kodiak, Alaska, where she transitioned from reporter to news director before moving to Montana.
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