New Evidence of Coal's Evolving Place in the Economy
Contura Energy announced the sale of the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mines to Blackjewel Inc in December, just two years after acquiring the mines. At the time, company officials announced that they would concentrate mining operations on more profitable mining sites.
Now Heather Richards reveals the details of the deal, revealing details about the state of the coal industry:
Details of the transaction in Contura’s financial reports released last week show that Contura paid Blackjewel Inc. $21 million as part of the deal. The money is for taxes owed in Wyoming, according to the companies. Blackjewel picked up these two mines for nothing more than a promise of royalty payments back to Contura and an assumption of millions in clean-up costs.
According to Richards, some observers in the state say the deal indicates more bad news to come for the coal industry in Wyoming. Others note just how much the coal industry's status has changed in the state in just a few years.