The tribal owner of Montana's largest coal mine is bringing back all 73 employees furloughed in April because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Navajo Transitional Energy Company, which owns the Spring Creek mine, said Monday that those employees will begin their normal work schedules the week of Aug. 3.
“We are thrilled to be in a position to bring our Spring Creek team back so soon,” said Clark Moseley, CEO, in a written statement. “We are seeing a resumption of normal energy demand, along with the increased power needs for the summer season. Spring Creek is well-positioned to deliver the product to meet US energy demand and aid in economic recovery.”
The company, which is wholly owned by the Navajo Nation, announced it was furloughing 130 workers in Montana and Wyoming because of slumping energy demand related to the pandemic. The layoffs included 73 workers at the Spring Creek mine in Decker and another 57 at the Antelope mine in Wyoming.
The Spring Creek mine has 260 total employees.
NTEC bought the mines from bankrupt Cloud Peak Energy last year. The firm is working to put up a $110 million reclamation to claim the full permit to operate the Spring Creek Mine. Cloud Peak is currently the designated mine operator there.