Coal Resources & Reserves
Coal Production & Mining
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Powder River Basin
Wyoming is coal country. The state is the nation’s top coal producer, accounting
for 40 percent of all the coal mined in the United States. Coal is a key energy
resource, providing for 37 percent of all the electricity generated in the
nation. Wyoming produces the majority of this coal. This fossil fuel is the
second largest source of revenue in Wyoming, and in 2014 contributed more than
$1.2 billion to state and local governments. The coal mined in Wyoming is
sub-bituminous, low sulfur coal, primarily used as steam coal for
electrical plants. Because Wyoming coal is so low in sulfur it does not require
washing, and is often blended with the coal found in other states, which tends
to be higher in sulfur.
2015 Wyoming Coal Mining Facts
Wyoming coal production increased by 4.76 million tons in 2014, from 388 million tons (2013) to 392 million tons(2014). The average spot price of Powder River Basin coal increased from $10.58 per ton in 2013 to $12.20 per ton in 2014.
The recent coal production and price increase has been fueled by low stockpile inventories at power plants. Colder winters over the past two years have increased coal consumption
The North Antelope/Rochelle Mine produced nearly 118 million tons of coal in 2014, or 12
percent of the entire nation’s coal. Arch Coal's Black Thunder Mine produced 101 million tons of coal in 2014. Together these two mines produced nearly 22 percent
of the U.S. total in 2014. The large powder river coal mines are extracting the lowest sulfur "super" compliant coal in the nation.