Construction of southwestern Wyo. coal mine halted

Nebraska company suspends construction of southwestern Wyoming coal mine due to poor demand

Associated Press

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) -- A Nebraska company has suspended construction of a coal mine in southwestern Wyoming, blaming poor demand for coal.

The Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/17qMvNq ) reported Wednesday that 12 people will lose their jobs at the Haystack Coal Co. northeast of Evanston but that officials are working to find them jobs at projects being done by its parent company, Omaha, Neb.-based Kiewit Corp.

"The decision is not a reflection on the outstanding work of our employees; it was driven by the challenging coal market conditions that have affected virtually the entire industry," company spokesman Tom Janssen said in a statement. "Regrettably, this decision will affect all current employees."

The mine had been expected to employ 100 people.

Pending restrictions on coal-fired power plants, a mild winter and low natural gas prices have reduced demand for coal. Wyoming, the nation's top coal producer, mined 8 percent less coal last year. About 3 percent of coal workers lost their jobs in 2012, according to federal data.

Preliminary 2013 estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy's information and statistics arm show that coal production has dropped to 11.5 percent from production during the first three months of 2012.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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