West Elk Mine

West Elk Mine
WildEarth Guardians

The last fully operational coal mine in the western part of the state announced layoffs Thursday.

The West Elk Mine outside of Paonia is owned by Arch Coal. The company filed for bankruptcy in January and says it’s letting go of 80 workers.

coal
Flickr user: oatsy40

Arch Coal announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday. The company operates the West Elk Mine outside of Paonia and is the second largest coal company in the U.S.   

North Fork Coal Mining Up For Review, Again

Dec 9, 2015

Representatives from federal agencies were in Paonia earlier this week.  They held an open house to discuss the Roadless Rule, a defining policy that prevents development in wilderness across the state, except certain areas.  Areas like the North Fork.

Coal
NPS

Arch Coal and the Forest Service will not be appealing a decision that revokes the company's expansion lease, as well as vacating an exception in the Colorado Roadless­ Rule that allows for expanded mining in the North Fork. 

Judge Revokes Arch Coal Lease

Sep 16, 2014
Coal
NPS

A District Court Judge revoked a lease expansion granted to Arch Coal in 2012.  

Coal
NPS

An expansion at the West Elk Mine has been halted by U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson.

KVNF File Photo

It’s been a rough season for the coal mines of the North Fork Valley. Last week, Oxbow’s Elk Creek Mine in Somerset laid off another 115 workers, bringing the total number of jobs cut at that mine this fall to over 250.

Headlines:

  • State lawmakers begin budget debate
  • BLM grants West Elk lease modifications to expand
  • Autopsy released following gunfight in Crawford
  • Lund vs. Marston for District 3 DMEA board position
  • Hunters boycotting Colorado due to new gun laws
  • Local prep sports report

Headlines:

  • Work halted at Oxbow's Elk Creek Mine due to high levels of Carbon Monoxide
  • No ruling yet on Pinon Ridge Uranium Mill in Montrose County
  • Avalanche Fatality in high country near Marble
  • Commissioners set hunting regulations for 2013 season
  • Arvada Pastor court ordered to change name of program

The West Elk Mine near Somerset has been given a temporary reduction in the royalties it pays to the state and federal governments. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious reports that the reduction is because the mine has encountered some tricky geological conditions.