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Job losses at Black Thunder

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World Coal,

Arch Coal is cutting its workforce at its Black Thunder mine in the Powder River Basin by about 15%, according to a company spokesperson, as the downturn in the US coal industries reaches some of the countries biggest mines.

The move comes as Peabody Energy said it too was cutting jobs at its North Antelope Rochelle coal mine in the PRB with 235 laid off their.

“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, in a statement.

“We have made every effort to preserve as many positions as possible,” continued Williams. “This decision was made only after a number of other cost-cutting measures were exhausted.”

The US coal industry has been hit hard over recent months as mild winter weather combined with ongoing pressure from low-cost gas and a recent spate of coal-fired power plant retirements – a result of the implementation of the MATS rule.

As a result, coal stockpiles at US utilities were at record highs at the end of last year with coal shipments down by about a third over the first few months of this year, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.

Despite the current challenges, Arch Coal said it expected the PRB to remain and “essential energy source for the domestic and global power generation sector for decades to come.”

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