STB Cuts Off Tongue River

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) has killed the future of the planned 42-mile-long Tongue River Railroad, citing the uncertainty of permitting, costs and a continued weak coal market. The unanimous STB decision was made public on April 26. The application for the line, which had a price tag of $405 million, was suspended by its backers—Arch Coal, BNSF and TRRC Financing—late last year. The origination and service point for Tongue River, which was first proposed more than 30 years ago, would have been Arch Coal’s planned Otter Creek operation. Arch filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and subsequently shelved its plans for Otter Creek last month.

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Arch, Wyoming DEQ Agree to Self-bonding Deal

After being given a brief extension by the federal government, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Arch Coal have reportedly agreed upon the troubled producer’s self-bonding and will accept about $75 million instead of the company’s bonding obligations tab of $486 million as Arch continues through its bankruptcy.

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Tegeta’s Optimum to Export From Richards Bay

Tegeta Exploration and Resources, currently awaiting approval of its acquisition of Glencore’s Optimum operation in South Africa, will reportedly acquire about one-tenth of the export rights at the Richards Bay export facility.

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Luminant Closing Doors to Thermo, Winfield Mines

Following through on a plan first outlined in 2014, Luminant Mining announced it will soon be halting operations at the Winfield and Thermo mines in northeast Texas. Company spokesman Brad Watson told local media that Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices were distributed to approximately 80 employees at the operations in Hopkins and Titus counties, which feed the Monticello power plant.

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