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Coal bankruptcy plan approved amid bonding uncertainty

Cheyenne, Wyo. • A judge approved a bankruptcy reorganization for one of the biggest U.S. coal companies Thursday amid ongoing uncertainty about how its mines will be bonded in the long term.

Gillette-based Cloud Peak filed for bankruptcy in May. In 2018, the company was the third-highest-producing coal producer in the U.S., after Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, both based in St. Louis.

The bankruptcy was part of what's been a tumultuous year for the Powder River Basin coal industry. Milton, West Virginia-based Blackjewel's bankruptcy in July substantially shut down two major Wyoming mines for four months.