Buckskin Mine

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
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Buckskin Mine is a surface coal mine, operated by Buckskin Mining Company, a subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation, producing 13 million short tons per annum, near Gillette in Campbell County, Wyoming.

Location

The below satellite image shows the location of the mine near Gillette, in Campbell County, Wyoming.

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Mine Details

  • MSHA ID: 4801200
  • Start Year: 1981
  • Owner: Buckskin Mining Company
  • Parent Company: Kiewit Corporation
  • Location: Campbell County, Wyoming, United States
  • GPS Coordinates: 44.4742, -105.5395 (exact)
  • Production (Short tons): 13,508,689 (2018)
  • Coal Type: Sub Bituminous
  • Mine Type: Surface
  • Equipment:
  • Number of Employees:230[1]
  • Mine Size:
  • Mineable Reserves: 280.7 million tons permitted [2]
  • Status: Operating

Background

Buckskin Mining Company is located 10 miles north of Gillette, Wyoming, within the Southern Powder River Basin.[3] The mine produces around 27 million tons of coal per year from the Anderson and Canyon Seams located within the Fort Union Formation. Since 1981, Buckskin has shipped more than 406 million tons of high-quality, low sulfur coal from the Southern Powder River Basin.[3]

Buckskin Mine has achieved notable success for its reclamation program. In 1997, the mine (which was owned by Triton Coal Company at that time) won an award from the U.S. Department of the Interior for its efforts to restore the Rawhide Creek alluvial valley floor which involved replacing topsoil on the alluvial valley floor following all mining operations in the area.[3][4]

Mine Lifespan

In 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) considered issuing a coal lease to Kiewit to extend the life of the mine. The consideration was the result of a March 2006 application made by Kiewit to lease the Federal coal in the Hay Creek II Tract, northwest of the Buckskin Mine and approximately 12 miles north of Gillette, Wyoming. The Hay Creek II Tract contains 419.04 acres, and Kiewit estimated that the current tract included approximately 54.1 million tons of recoverable coal.[5] In September 2013, the BLM rejected a bid submitted by Kiewit Mining Properties on behalf of its subsidiary, Buckskin Mining, for the Hay Creek II coal lease tract because the bid did not meet BLM’s secret estimate of the tract’s fair market value.[6] As of November 2019, the project has not progressed in more than four years and appears to be cancelled.

In the mid-2010s, the mine's production began declining dramatically—and along with it the mine's employment, which went from 365 in 2012 to 177 in March 2016.[7] The mine's recoverable reserves were at 344 million tons in 2008; with production of 13–26 million tons per year since then, the mine could reach the end of its lifespan by the year 2022.[8]

Project Expansion Details

  • Status: Cancelled
  • Production Capacity:
  • Mineable Reserves: 167 million tons[9]
  • Mine Expansion Size: 1,253 acres
  • Start Year:
  • Source of Financing:

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