Almost half of the Dugout Canyon coal mine's workforce was laid off Thursday, when Arch Coal Inc.'s Utah subsidiary announced it was reducing production at the mine outside of Wellington in Carbon County.
The subsidiary, Canyon Fuel Co., said 114 jobs were being eliminated because of "continuing weakness in coal demand in the region." The company plans to halt Dugout Canyon's longwall mining operations, the main source of its coal production, in the first half of 2012 when the voracious machine completes excavating the section of Book Cliffs seam where it is now working.
"We regret the need to take this difficult action," said Paul Lang, CanyonFuel's executive vice president of operations, calling it a market-driven decision. "We hope to retain most, if not all, of these valued members of the Canyon Fuel team and plan to offer positions to the affected employees at operations within Arch's national network of mines."