Low prices prompt coal production cuts

Oct 30, 2013

With continued weak prices for coal, one of Wyoming’s largest coal companies is planning to reduce production.

During a meeting with investors to discuss third quarter results, Cloud Peak CEO Colin Marshall said the company is looking to cut 10 million tons at the Cordero Rojo mine near Gillette in 2015. That’s roughly 10 percent of the company’s overall production in the Powder River Basin.

Marshall said the plan won’t change unless prices rebound significantly.

“We're going down until things change enough to make it worthwhile going up.”

Oversupply of coal and cheap natural gas are keeping prices low.

Coal companies, including Cloud Peak, have been looking at overseas exports to increase revenue, but Marshall said it’s optimistic to think new port capacity in the Pacific Northwest could be online by 2018.