November 19, 2018 Read More →

Westmoreland’s Rosebud Mine heads to the auction block

Billings Gazette:

The lone source of coal for the Colstrip power plant has been scheduled for bankruptcy auction in late January.

Rosebud Mine will be auctioned Jan. 22, if necessary, to help pay the debts of Westmoreland Coal Co., which owns the mine. The United States Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Texas on Thursday set terms for the auction, which the Colorado-based coal company had requested in October.

Westmoreland did not respond to interview requests Friday by Lee Montana Newspapers. The company filed for bankruptcy Oct. 8, indicating that it had more than $1.4 billion in debt and assets of $770 million.

Montana’s state government is in the process of approving a 10-square mile expansion of Rosebud Mine, not knowing who the actual developer might be after a sale. This week, Billings-based Northern Plains Resource Council asked the state Department of Environmental Quality to stop the permitting process at least until the developer is identified. Northern Plains earlier in the week also identified more than 50 springs it said would be destroyed by the mine expansion.

The auction comes as the four-unit Colstrip power plant’s contract for Rosebud Mine coal winds down. The current agreement guarantees coal at least through 2019. Four utilities with 70 percent ownership in Colstrip Units 3 and 4 have expressed concern about not having coal if a buyer of Westmoreland’s assets opts to mine coal at Rosebud, or not mine enough to feed Units 3 and 4.

More: Bankruptcy auction set for Rosebud Mine, sole supplier of coal to Colstrip

Comments are closed.