Wyoming Coal Mines Sold Off

Dec 11, 2017

A haul truck drives coal out of the Eagle Butte coal mine outside Gillete, Wyo.

Two of Wyoming’s coal mines are changing ownership. Contura Energy has sold Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mines to a private company called Blackjewel LLC.

Contura Energy is a relatively new company, formed 16 months ago after acquiring some of Alpha Natural Resources best assets. Alpha declared bankruptcy in August 2015.  The two coal mines now being sold by a Contura subsidiary were the company’s most productive, but not most profitable mines.

In a press release, Contura admitted they would lose money on this deal, but could make the loss up in tax write-offs.  The company will also transfer about $200 million in required clean-up costs for the mines to Blackjewel.  

Blackjewel is a private company with little public information available. Contura didn’t return calls for comment, and it’s not known whether there will be layoffs or management changes at the mines where there were 570 people were employed as of September.