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Utah coal company declares bankruptcy, lays off 76 employees at Montana mine

Casper, Wyo. • The owner of a Montana coal mine filed for bankruptcy and laid off nearly half of its workforce at the facility near the Wyoming border.

Lighthouse Resources Inc. filed a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, The Casper Star-Tribune reports.

The company based in South Jordan, Utah, owns the Decker coal mine, which is located in Big Horn County just north of the Montana and Wyoming state line.

Decker Coal Company, a Lighthouse subsidiary, previously furloughed workers in May and September.

Lighthouse said 76 employees were laid off Wednesday, but the company plans to continue the Decker mine operations at a significantly reduced capacity.

Lighthouse CEO Everett King cited market conditions and other factors including the coronavirus pandemic that required cost and workforce reductions.

“We have no alternative,” King said in a statement.

The mine produced more than 709,000 tons of coal and employed an average of 174 workers in the third quarter of this year ending in September, according to U.S. Mining Safety and Health Administration data. Production in the quarter was down nearly 42%, compared to the same period in 2019.

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