Home / World News / U.S. approves 60-million ton expansion of Montana coal mine – The Denver Post

U.S. approves 60-million ton expansion of Montana coal mine – The Denver Post

BILLINGS, Mont. — U.S. officials have approved a 60-million ton expansion of a southeastern Montana coal mine that serves one of the largest power plants in the western United States, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s office said Friday.

The approval will extend the life of Westmoreland Coal Company’s Rosebud Mine by 19 years and adds 10.5 square miles (27 square kilometers) to the 40-square-mile (104-square kilometer) strip mine, Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift said.

The move comes as Westmoreland has seen its stock price plummet over the past year, prompting speculation the Englewood, Colorado-based company could be headed for bankruptcy.

Chief Executive Officer Kevin Paprzycki stepped down last month shortly after Westmoreland reported a $107 million loss through the first three quarters of 2017.

A Westmoreland representative did not immediately respond to a voice mail message seeking comment.

The Rosebud mine serves the 2,100-megawatt Colstrip power plant. The plant, located in the town of Colstrip, is a major employer in eastern Montana.

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