“Through the commitment and ingenuity of our employees, we have made great strides over the last several years to streamline the operation, reduce costs and improve efficiencies. However, current market realities have required we take further action to enhance the competitive position of the operation and ensure long-term success,” said Arch spokesperson Logan Bonacorsi.

Management is currently meeting with affected employees at the complex near Gillette; while specific numbers weren’t confirmed, local media has estimated the loss at 230 individuals.

Keith Williams, Arch president of western operations, said it made efforts to preserve as many jobs as possible. “This decision was made only after a number of other cost-cutting measures were exhausted,” he said.

It is clear, however, that the mine and its presence in the Powder River Basin (PRB) aren’t going anywhere.

“Arch expects the [PRB] to remain an essential energy source for the domestic and global power generation sector for decades to come,” the company said.

Black Thunder, which sold 99 million tons last year, is the second largest operation in the region.