Coal Slated to Roll Along Montana Rail Line

By Beacon Staff

BROADVIEW – Developers of a reactivated coal mine in south-central Montana say they expect to start shipping coal to Midwestern power plants next week along a new 35-mile rail line.

The Signal Peak Mine south of Roundup has undergone a $400 million expansion over the past year under the ownership of Boich Group and FirstEnergy. The Ohio companies transformed the shuttered Bull Mountain mine into an operation that could soon account for about a quarter of Montana’s annual coal production.

Nationwide, demand for coal has softened since the recession began, while greenhouse gas limits pending in Congress threaten to make the fuel more expensive.

But Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer says coal from Signal Peak will fill the fuel gap created by declining production from Appalachian mines.

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