News & Features

Owners of Big Montana Coal Mine Due in Court as Layoffs Loom

Signal Peak Energy's Bull Mountain Mine is one of the largest underground mines in the U.S

BILLINGS — Attorneys for a large Montana coal mine are due in court this week to press a judge to reverse an order they say would prompt dozens of layoffs by blocking the mine’s expansion plans.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy has scheduled a Tuesday hearing in Missoula in the case involving Signal Peak Energy’s Bull Mountain Mine. It’s one of the largest underground mines in the U.S.

Molloy ruled in August that federal officials who approved the expansion overstated the mine’s economic benefits and failed to consider its climate change impacts.

Signal Peak attorneys filed an emergency motion Friday asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene. They warned about 30 layoffs were imminent with more likely in coming months.

The mine north of Billings employs about 250 people.

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