Peabody: Operations at Twentymile Mine ‘anticipated’ to continue as normal | SteamboatToday.com

Peabody: Operations at Twentymile Mine ‘anticipated’ to continue as normal

Twentymile Mine operates 24 hours per day, 361 days each year about 15 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs. Coal production across Colorado was 18.7 million tons in 2015, a decrease of 18.5 percent and the lowest production amount in 23 years.

— A Peabody Energy official confirmed April 13 that the company "anticipates" operations will continue as normal at Twentymile Mine west of Steamboat Springs as the company reorganizes under the protection of bankruptcy.

Scott Harrell, Peabody's director of human resources for Colorado here also confirmed in an email to community leaders in Routt County that, on Tuesday, Peabody "terminated the purchase process" of Twentymile with two other coal mines in New Mexico to Bowie Resources.

Peabody said in December 2015 it planned to sell Twentymile and other assets here, as well as mines in New Mexico, to Kentucky-based Bowie Resource Partners for $358 million, with those funds expected to help Peabody service the interest on its $6.2 billion in debt. However, financing for the purchase could not be arranged, and Peabody was confronted with missing debt payments to its creditors.

Twentymile's impact on the Northwest Colorado economy in terms of salaries that turn over in the economy — not just at the mine, but at the Hayden Station Power plant, Union Pacific Railroad and beyond — is substantial.

Steamboat Today reported in 2013 that entry-level miners with no experience earned almost $48,000 per year, and the Colorado Mining Association reported average pay and benefits combined were $115,354 in 2011.

In 2014, Twentymile Coal Co. employed about 400 people. Currently, the number is closer to 300.

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Steamboat Today reported in February that 2015 coal production at Twentymile was down 38 percent, to 4.12 million tons. That compares to 6.6 million tons in 2014, 7.23 million tons in 2013 and 7.97 million tons in 2012.

This story will be updated.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1