Belle Ayr Mine

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Belle Ayr Mine is a coal mine, operated by Eagle Specialty Materials (ESM), an affiliate of FM Coal, LLC (FM Coal), producing 18.4 million short tons per annum, near Gillette in Campbell County, Wyoming, United States.


The map below shows the location of the mine, near Gillette, in Campbell county, Wyoming.

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The Belle Ayr Mine is a coal mine located in the state of Wyoming in the United States, about 18 miles southeast of Gillette in the Powder River Basin. The mine is an open pit, "truck and shovel" operation producing low-sulphur coal.[1]

In 2007, the mine produced just over 26.6 million short tons of coal, making it the 7th-most productive coal mine in the United States.[2] The following year, production had increased to 28.7 million tonnes.[3]

The mine was formerly owned and operated by Foundation Coal.[1] In late 2017, Foundation sold this mine, together with Eagle Butte Mine, to Blackjewel LLC, a company owned by Jeff Hoops, an Appalachian coal mining magnate. As of February 2019, Blackjewel owed Campbell County (where the mine is located) $8.6 million in taxes. The mine's permits have also been held up because of Blackjewel's record of environmental violations in its Appalachian operations.[4][5] As of May 2019, the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council was delaying approval of the mine's transfer permit to Blackjewel, due to the company's environmental violations.[6]

The mine is currently owned and operated by Eagle Specialty Materials.[7]


Environmental groups sue BLM over coal leases in Wyoming

It was announced on August 23, 2011 that three environmental groups are suing the Bureau of Land Management over the agency's decision to allow Alpha Natural Resources to mine a tract at the Caballo Mine containing 130.1 million tons of coal for $143.4 million along with one other lease the BLM approved, including the Belle Ayr Mine tract which contains 130.1 million tons of coal and is operated by Peabody Energy. WildEarth Guardians, Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife. The groups contended the BLM did not properly conduct its assessment of the environmental impacts of the proposed operation.

The groups contend that the coal from the tracts is enough to fuel 152 coal-fired power plants and would release 643 million tons of carbon dioixide, or the same amount as that released by 111.7 million passenger vehicles a year, using EPA calculations.[8]

Mine Data

  • MSHA ID: 4800732
  • Operator: Eagle Specialty Materials (ESM)
  • Owner: FM Coal, LLC (FM Coal)
  • Location: Campbell County, Wyoming, United States
  • GPS Cooridnates: 44.098376, -105.365477
  • Production (short tons): 18,467,405 (2018)[9]
  • Coal Type: Subbituminous
  • Mining Method: Surface
  • Equipment:
  • Number of Employees: 282
  • Mineable Reserve: 155 million tons permitted [10]
  • Mine Status: Operating

Articles and resources

Related articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 Foundation Coal, "Foundation Coal: Operational Overviews", Foundation Coal website, accessed May 2009.
  2. U.S. Department of Energy, "Major U.S. Coal Mines, 2007", Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy, September 2008,.
  3. Foundation Coal Holdings, "2008 Annual Report", Foundation Coal, page 11.
  4. Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mine owner owes $8.6 million in delinquent taxes, Casper Star Tribune, 25 Feb. 2019.
  5. Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr Coal Mine Owner Delinquent $8.6 Million in Taxes, Mining Connection, 26 Feb. 2019.
  6. EQC Delays Coal Permit to Consider Company Track Record, Oil City News, 23 May 2019.
  7. Greg Johnson, Komatsu wants ‘immediate’ permission to take shovels at Eagle Butte, Belle Ayr mines, Sheridan Press, May 8, 2020
  8. "Environmental groups sue BLM over coal leases in Wyoming" Jeremy Fugleberg, Casper-Star Tribune, August 24, 2011.
  9. "EIA table 9 major US coal mines 2018" accessed June 2020
  10. John T. Boyd Company,Powder River Basin Coal Resource Cost Study, September 2011

External resources

External links

Wikipedia also has an article on Belle Ayr Mine. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.