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Black Thunder

Search for records on this mine at the Mine Safety and Health Administration website
  • Summary
  • Search for records on this mine at the Mine Safety and Health Administration website

    Citations, Orders, and Safeguards
    Citations, Orders, and Safeguards
    Please Note: Thunder Basin Coal Company Llc has been the current operator since 6/1/1998

    Year 103(k) 104(a) 104(d)(1) 107(a) Proposed
    Penalties ($)
    Current Penalties ($) Amount Paid
    To Date ($)
    2000 0 18 0 0 2,688.00 2,688.00 2,688.00
    2001 0 25 0 0 3,143.00 2,326.00 2,326.00
    2002 1 14 0 0 13,230.00 10,730.00 10,730.00
    2003 0 60 0 0 53,288.00 52,984.00 52,984.00
    2004 0 32 0 0 3,865.00 3,865.00 3,865.00
    2005 1 51 0 0 6,912.00 6,293.00 6,293.00
    2006 5 62 1 1 114,531.00 89,238.00 89,238.00
    2007 3 44 0 0 109,445.00 70,739.60 70,731.60
    2008 1 35 0 0 17,208.00 17,208.00 17,208.00
    2009 0 72 0 1 21,281.00 21,281.00 21,281.00
    2010 0 28 0 0 19,496.00 19,496.00 14,220.00
    2011 0 16 0 0 490.00 490.00 0.00
    Note: Vacated Citations are not included in any reports on the DRS.

    Injuries, Hours Worked, and Production Totals
    Injuries, Hours Worked, and Production Totals
    Please Note: Thunder Basin Coal Company Llc has been the current operator since 6/1/1998

    Year Fatal Operator
    Injuries
    NFDL Operator
    Injuries
    Fatal Contractor
    Injuries
    NFDL Contractor
    Injuries
    Operator Hours
    Worked*
    Coal
     Produced 
    (tons)
    Operator Fatal
    Incidence Rate**
    Operator NFDL
    Incidence Rate**
    Mine Type
    National Fatal
    Incidence Rate**
    Mine Type
    National NFDL
    Incidence Rate**
    2000 0 13 0 6 1,201,535 60,102,031 0.00 2.16 0.0233 2.24
    2001 0 0 0 0 1,265,287 67,621,885 0.00 0.00 0.0090 2.12
    2002 1 5 0 1 1,264,618 65,125,564 0.16 0.79 0.0180 2.29
    2003 1 9 0 4 1,339,810 62,620,417 0.15 1.34 0.0289 1.94
    2004 0 9 0 2 1,540,704 72,220,213 0.00 1.17 0.0121 1.76
    2005 0 12 0 9 1,989,525 87,586,375 0.00 1.21 0.0028 1.50
    2006 0 14 0 16 2,278,196 92,653,250 0.00 1.23 0.0189 1.36
    2007 0 9 0 8 2,263,070 86,196,275 0.00 0.80 0.0194 1.39
    2008 0 4 0 12 2,496,549 88,584,704 0.00 0.32 0.0102 1.25
    2009 0 4 0 5 2,618,422 81,079,043 0.00 0.31 0.0106 1.21
    2010 0 5 0 1 3,400,813 116,225,536 0.00 0.24 0.0073 1.10
    2011 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - - -
    *   Hours worked and accidents & injuries now include office hours or accidents (subunit 99).
    ** Current rates are based on data available as of 2010 Quarter 3. For a further explanation, please see this.
  • MSHA Data


  • 2009 Sales to Power Plants

    NameControllerOperatorLocationTons Purchased
    LabadieAmeren CorpAmerenUEFranklin County, MO4791267
    NewtonAmeren CorpAmerenEnergy ResourcesJasper County, IL4177845
    J H CampbellCMS Energy CorpConsumers Energy CoOttawa County, MI3231850
    MonroeDTE Energy CorpDetroit Edison CoMonroe County, MI3116000
    MuskogeeOGE Energy CorpOklahoma Gas Electric CoMuskogee County, OK2619052
    White BluffEntergy CorpEntergy Arkansas IncJefferson County, AR2097038
    Lawrence Energy CenterWestar Energy IncWestar Energy IncDouglas County, KS2010856
    GallatinTennessee Valley AuthorityTennessee Valley AuthoritySumner County, TN1918152
    Kincaid Generation LLCDominionDominion Energy NUGsChristian County, IL1912307
    SoonerOGE Energy CorpOklahoma Gas Electric CoNoble County, OK1813705
    SiouxAmeren CorpAmerenUESt Charles County, MO1791227
    Sherburne CountyXcel Energy IncNorthern States Power CoSherburne County, MN1484247
    Baldwin Energy ComplexDynegy IncDynegy IncRandolph County, IL1268038
    Sikeston Power StationSikeston City ofSikeston City ofScott County, MO1080557
    Kyger CreekOhio Valley Electric CorpOhio Valley Electric CorpGallia County, OH985844
    James H Miller JrSouthern CoAlabama Power CoJefferson County, AL984326
    SibleyAquila IncAquila Networks-MissouriJackson County, MO967558
    R M SchahferNiSource IncNorthern Indiana Pub Serv CoJasper County, IN961562
    WestonIntegrys Energy Group IncWisconsin Public Service CorpMarathon County, WI896459
    MeramecAmeren CorpAmerenUESt Louis County, MO877995
    Tecumseh Energy CenterWestar Energy IncWestar Energy IncShawnee County, KS872417
    Wood RiverDynegy IncDynegy IncMadison County, IL849167
    Council BluffsMidAmerican Energy Holdings CoMidAmerican Energy CoPottawattamie County, IA815229
    Nebraska CityOmaha Public Power DistrictOmaha Public Power DistrictOtoe County, NE805553
    Bay ShoreFirstEnergy CorpFirstEnergy Generation CorpLucas County, OH745520
    WaukeganEdison InternationalEdison Mission EnergyLake County, IL743337
    Dunkirk Generating StationNRG EnergyNRG EnergyChautauqua County, NY708889
    Hennepin Power StationDynegy IncDynegy IncPutnam County, IL695909
    Eckert StationLansing City ofLansing City ofIngham County, MI689537
    E D EdwardsAmeren CorpAmerenEnergy ResourcesPeoria County, IL685819
    Dan E KarnCMS Energy CorpConsumers Energy CoBay County, MI680296
    Southwest Power StationSpringfield City ofSpringfield City ofGreene County, MO647757
    North OmahaOmaha Public Power DistrictOmaha Public Power DistrictDouglas County, NE646395
    LansingAlliant Energy CorpInterstate Power and Light CoAllamakee County, IA643411
    Joppa SteamElectric Energy IncElectric Energy IncMassac County, IL558099
    River RougeDTE Energy CorpDetroit Edison CoWayne County, MI554000
    QuindaroKansas City City ofKansas City City ofWyandotte County, KS548143
    J R WhitingCMS Energy CorpConsumers Energy CoMonroe County, MI479652
    AsburyEmpire District Electric CoEmpire District Electric CoJasper County, MO457112
    C R Huntley Generating StationNRG EnergyNRG EnergyErie County, NY442904
    EastlakeFirstEnergy CorpFirstEnergy Generation CorpLake County, OH432510
    EdgewaterAlliant Energy CorpWisconsin Power Light CoSheboygan County, WI403716
    JohnsonvilleTennessee Valley AuthorityTennessee Valley AuthorityHumphreys County, TN392854
    R S NelsonEntergy CorpEntergy Gulf States IncCalcasieu County, LA367107
    John P MadgettDairyland Power CoopDairyland Power CoopBuffalo County, WI333315
    George Neal NorthMidAmerican Energy Holdings CoMidAmerican Energy CoWoodbury County, IA320092
    James River Power StationSpringfield City ofSpringfield City ofGreene County, MO306667
    CoronadoSalt River ProjectSalt River ProjectApache County, AZ288372
    J C WeadockCMS Energy CorpConsumers Energy CoBay County, MI282033
    Michigan CityNiSource IncNorthern Indiana Pub Serv CoLa Porte County, IN249445
    G F Weaton Power StationHorsehead CorporationHorsehead CorporationBeaver County, PA215213
    Will CountyEdison InternationalEdison Mission EnergyWill County, IL206006
    ShawneeTennessee Valley AuthorityTennessee Valley AuthorityMcCracken County, KY204871
    ValmontXcel Energy IncPublic Service Co of ColoradoBoulder County, CO197007
    ComancheXcel Energy IncPublic Service Co of ColoradoPueblo County, CO190151
    HawthornGreat Plains Energy IncKansas City Power Light CoJackson County, MO176648
    Taconite Harbor Energy CenterALLETE IncMinnesota Power IncCook County, MN175214
    Wisconsin Rapids Pulp MillNewPage Group IncNewPage Holding CorporationWood County, WI170803
    RivertonEmpire District Electric CoEmpire District Electric CoCherokee County, KS169000
    AES Shady PointAES CorpAES NUGsLeflore County, OK165211
    Biron MillNewPage Group IncNewPage Holding CorporationWood County, WI160853
    Milton L KappAlliant Energy CorpInterstate Power and Light CoClinton County, IA143682
    CrawfordEdison InternationalEdison Mission EnergyCook County, IL136287
    Hatfields Ferry Power StationAllegheny Energy IncAllegheny Energy Supply Co LLCGreene County, PA125916
    ColumbiaAlliant Energy CorpWisconsin Power Light CoColumbia County, WI124731
    ParadiseTennessee Valley AuthorityTennessee Valley AuthorityMuhlenberg County, KY123900
    Archer Daniels Midland DecaturArcher Daniels Midland CoArcher Daniels Midland CoMacon County, IL114904
    La CygneGreat Plains Energy IncKansas City Power Light CoLinn County, KS107512
    AshtabulaFirstEnergy CorpFirstEnergy Generation CorpAshtabula County, OH107030
    Lake ShoreFirstEnergy CorpFirstEnergy Generation CorpCuyahoga County, OH105316
    Muscatine Plant #1Board of Water Electric CommunicationsBoard of Water Electric CommunicationsMuscatine County, IA97326
    Rush IslandAmeren CorpAmerenUEJefferson County, MO90224
    Trenton ChannelDTE Energy CorpDetroit Edison CoWayne County, MI84000
    Fisk StreetEdison InternationalEdison Mission EnergyCook County, IL78904
    TES Filer City StationTES Filer City Station LPTES Filer City Station LPManistee County, MI70445
    Clay BoswellALLETE IncMinnesota Power IncItasca County, MN69442
    ColbertTennessee Valley AuthorityTennessee Valley AuthorityColbert County, AL68404
    Coleto CreekInternational Power Plc (UK)ANPGoliad County, TX65757
    IatanGreat Plains Energy IncKansas City Power Light CoPlatte County, MO64443
    George Neal SouthMidAmerican Energy Holdings CoMidAmerican Energy CoWoodbury County, IA48781
    Big Cajun 2NRG EnergyNRG EnergyPointe Coupee County, LA48781
    MontroseGreat Plains Energy IncKansas City Power Light CoHenry County, MO45047
    LouisaMidAmerican Energy Holdings CoMidAmerican Energy CoLouisa County, IA44590
    Lon WrightFremont City ofFremont City ofDodge County, NE43023
    SpringervilleUniSource Energy CorpTucson Electric Power CoApache County, AZ42418
    KingstonTennessee Valley AuthorityTennessee Valley AuthorityRoane County, TN42035
    CoffeenAmeren CorpAmerenEnergy ResourcesMontgomery County, IL41325
    State Line EnergyDominionDominion Energy NUGsLake County, IN40768
    Allen Steam PlantTennessee Valley AuthorityTennessee Valley AuthorityShelby County, TN36761
    IndependenceEntergy CorpEntergy Arkansas IncIndependence County, AR32675
    B L EnglandRockland Capital Energy Investments LLCRockland Capital Energy Investments LLCCape May County, NJ27291
    Widows CreekTennessee Valley AuthorityTennessee Valley AuthorityJackson County, AL26831
    Fort Martin Power StationAllegheny Energy IncMonongahela Power CoMonongalia County, WV23544
    OttumwaAlliant Energy CorpInterstate Power and Light CoWapello County, IA15358
    W A ParishNRG EnergyNRG EnergyFort Bend County, TX14519
    SutherlandAlliant Energy CorpInterstate Power and Light CoMarshall County, IA14474
    ManitowocManitowoc Public UtilitiesManitowoc Public UtilitiesManitowoc County, WI14423
    PulliamIntegrys Energy Group IncWisconsin Public Service CorpBrown County, WI13128
  • Production

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    Rail congestion expected to plague Powder River Basin coal into late 2014

    May 22, 2014

    The Powder River Basin is expected to face severe rail congestion until at least late 2014 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Despite the frigid winter and an increased demand for coal to restock pile utilities, the delays from winter weather have created a backlog of coal shipments. Additionally, a shorter harvest season and the boom in domestic oil production created the increased need for rail cars. All of these factors have cause severe delays in rail deliveries out of the Powder River Basin.

    Mines like Arch Coal are seeing this first hand such as at the Black Thunder mine where the company will be trying to fulfill their orders throughout the remainder of 2014.

    Read article at http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/rail-congestion-expected-to-plague-powder-river-basin-coal-into/article_23b38c27-ed6a-5984-9ae4-6597f798720e.html

    Largest coal mines still in Wyoming, but US is diversifying

    April 21, 2014

    The Powder River Basin in 2013 listed the top nine coal producing mines in the United States. However, the amount of mines in the Powder River Basin situated in the top twenty five highest producing mines shrinked as compared to twenty years ago.

    The decline in the amount of Powder River Basin mines being in the top twenty-five is the result of large mining projects taking hold in New Mexico, Texas, Indiana and Ohio. Nevertheless, the scale of coal production in the Powder River Basin’s Black Thunder mine and the North Antelope Rochelle mine are the largest producing coalmines with growths as high as 400% since 1994.

     Read article at http://www.mining.com/web/largest-coal-mines-still-in-wyoming-but-us-is-diversifying/

    Worker dies at Wyoming’s Black Thunder mine

    August 16 2013

    A 24 year old Upton, WY man died early morning on August 16th while working for the Black Thunder mine.

    Jacob Dowdy, a miner for Arch Coal, was killed when a powder shovel at Black Thunder mine was driving up a ramp and rolled backwards, colliding with Jacob Dowdy’s truck and killing him and injuring the driver of the other truck behind him.

    Read article at http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/worker-dies-at-wyoming-s-black-thunder-mine/article_d0a00eb8-9ac8-57a2-8b0e-557a73dbccd9.html

    BLM offers 222.7 million tons of Wyoming coal

    October 23, 2011

    The latest coal lease sale to be approved by the Bureau of Land Management is a new parcel of land adjacent to Arch Coal’s Black Thunder Coal Mine, which in 2010 was the country’s highest producing coal mine. The sale of the South Hilight Field Coal Tract, requested by Arch Coal, could expand Black Thunder by more than 200M tons of coal, and is important to the mine because it is between Black Thunder and other federal lands with unleased coal tracts. The lease sale will bring the total leased by the BLM in 2011 to more than 1 billion tons of coal.

    Not to be outdone, Peabody Energy’sNorth Antelope Rochelle Mine, the largest producing mine in 2009, is nearing a lease sale for the North Porcupine and South Porcupine tracts which together total more than 1 billion tons of mineable coal. Under the “Lease by Application” rules, companies suggest to the BLM which parcels of land should be put up for a lease sale. As a result, few coal lease sales attract more than one bidder, and the two this year which did both set record prices.

    Read article at http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/article_539b8f60-1d0a-5902-8498-4f865204de3d.html

    Opponents ready coal lease fight in Wyoming

    March 15, 2011

    One environmental group is planning and another is considering an appeal to the recent decision by the Bureau of Land Management to approve the leasing of a 2000 acre site adjacent to the Black Thunder Mine in the Powder River Basin in Campbell County Wyoming. The Powder River Basin Resource Council (PRBRC), a landowner’s group based out of Sheridan, WY, is preparing its appeal. “I think a lot of the time the decisions has already been made and they’re just going through the process to justify it,” said LJ Turner, a spokesman for the PRBRC and a rancher who grazes animals on the site that has been approved for leasing. “I’ve been here all my life, and I’m not going anywhere else. I’d like to have it for the kids so it’s there — so they can do some of the things I’ve had to do.”

    Wild Earth Guardians is also considering an appeal of the leasing decision, citing its concerns about the sheer tonnage of coal that is involved in the decision. The Powder River Basin currently produces about 40% of the nation’s coal in its mines and last year the Black Thunder Mine shipped coal to nearly 100 different power plants in the US including plants as far away Arizona and New York. “Once these leases are issued, the companies have the right to mine coal,” said Jeremy Nichols of Wild Earth Guardians. “So this is the go, no-go time. So we’re going to do what we can.”

    Read article at http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_8d09f60b-687e-5d68-b20b-1c563a39453d.html

    Another North East Wyoming coal lease gets federal approval

    March 13, 2011

    The Bureau of Land Management has approved another 222M of coal to be mined in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming making it the fourth lease approved in the last two years. The lease, situated to the west of the Black Thunder Mine is approximately 2000 acres. The lease was requested by Arch Coal, operators of Black Thunder, under the “Lease By Application” procedure that has been in place in the Powder River Basin since it was decertified as a coal producing region. Because of its proximity to the Black Thunder Mine, it is expected that Arch Coal will be the only bidder on the lease. It is expected to extend the life of Black Thunder by about a year and a half.

    Read article at http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/article_e520a1d6-4dc5-11e0-b7ab-001cc4c002e0.html

    Another coal lease gets federal approval

    March 9, 2011

    The Bureau of Land Management has approved Arch Coal’s request that nearly 2000 acres be auctioned next to Arch’s Black Thunder Mine. Since the site is so small and adjacent to an existing mine it is assumed that Arch will be the only company to bid on the auction. The land is believed to hold more than 220M tons of mineable coal which is expected to extend the life of the Black Thunder Mine by about 1.6 years.

    The lease sale is the fourth sale approved this year by the Bureau of Land Management for lands in the Powder River Basin. While each sale has been fought by environmental groups, in each case the BLM has determined that denying an individual lease would not current or future coal consumption, nor would it alter the percentage of electricity generated by coal power, two major arguments put forth by opposition groups.

    Read article at http://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/articles/2011/03/09/news/today/news03.txt

    Former Wyoming governor joins Arch Coal board

    February 23, 2011

    Dave Freudenthal, former governor of Wyoming, has been named to the board of Arch Coal. Arch mined 160M tons of coal last year, much of it in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin and Green River regions. Freudenthal served two terms as governor and was very popular in the state, in spite being a Democrat in a strongly Republican state.

    Read article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-23/former-wyoming-governor-joins-arch-coal-board.html

    Coal producers decry Ridley Terminals decision

    January 24, 2011

    Canadian coal producers are furious at the governments decision to award long-term export privileges to three US coal producers. Last week Ridley Terminals signed export contracts with Arch Coal, Cloud Peak and Enserco, large American coal companies hoping to export coal from their Powder River Basin mines to Asian markets. But Canadian coal companies like Teck Resources, Western Coal and Grande Cache Coal say that the terminal is already overloaded and American exports will block terminal capacity that they for their current and future operations.

    The Canadian companies are especially incensed because Ridley is a Canadian Crown corporation: completely owned by the government. “A federal Crown corporation just chose American jobs over Canadian jobs,” Teck chief executive officer Don Lindsay told a Vancouver mining conference on Monday. “Hundreds of B.C. jobs are on the line.”

    Read article at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/coal-producers-decry-ridley-terminals-decision/article1881479/

    Arch Coal finds a passage to Asia

    January 18, 2011

    Arch Coal has signed a five year deal with Ridley Terminals Inc. to allow 2-2.5 million tons of coal through a port near Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The announcement follows up Arch’s investment last week in the development of a proposed new coal terminal in Cowlitz County by Ambre Energy that may start operations next year. Both are designed to help Arch route more coal from its mines in the Powder River Basin to emerging markets in Asia.

    Read article http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/article_5de746ee-2353-11e0-b52c-00127992bc8b.html

  • News
  • South Hilight Coal Lease Application, EIS and ROD

    Environmental Impact Statement for the South Hilight Coal Lease Application, and Record of Decision, WYW174596, March 2011.

    Main text

    Appendix 1 – Figures

    Appendix 2 – Coal Lease Stipulations

    Appendix 3 – Letter of Support from US Fish and Wildlife Service

    Appendix 4 – Appeal Procedures

    North Hilight Coal Lease Application, EIS and ROD

    Environmental Impact Statement for the North Hilight Coal Lease Application, and Record of Decision, WYW164812, February 2012.

    Main text

    Appendix 1 – Figures

    Appendix 2 – Coal Lease Stipulations

    Appendix 3 – Letter of Support from US Fish and Wildlife Service

    Appendix 4 – Appeal Procedures

    South Hilight Coal Lease Application – Record of Decision – BLM 2011

    WYW174596

    /documents/south-hilight-coal-lease-application-record-of-decision-blm-2011

    Wright Area Coal Lease – Supplemental Information – 2009

    Supplementary Information for a number of different expansion projects around the southern Powder River Basin. WYW164812 (North Hilight Field), WYW174596 (South Hilight Field), WYW172388 (West Hilight Field), WYW172685 (West Jacobs Ranch), WYW173408 (North Porcupine) and WYW176095 (South Porcupine).

    /documents/wright-area-coal-lease-supplemental-information-2009

    Wright Area Coal Lease – Draft Environmental Impact Statement – Vol 1 and 2 of 2 – 2009

    Draft EIS for a number of different expansion projects around the southern Powder River Basin. WYW164812 (North Hilight Field), WYW174596 (South Hilight Field), WYW172388 (West Hilight Field), WYW172685 (West Jacobs Ranch), WYW173408 (North Porcupine) and WYW176095 (South Porcupine).

    /documents/wright-area-coal-lease-draft-environmental-impact-statement-vol-1-and-2-of-2-2009

    Final Environmental Impact Statement – South Powder River Basin Coal – 2003

    Final Environmental Impact Statement for the North Antelope Rochelle Mine, Black Thunder Mine, Antelope Mine and the North Rochelle Mine.

    Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Wright Area Coal Lease Applications Vol 2 – 2010

    Final EIS for a number of different expansion projects around the southern Powder River Basin. Volume 2 of 2.
    http://coaldiver.org/documents/final-environmental-impact-statement-for-the-wright-area-coal-lease-applications-vol-2-2010

    Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Wright Area Coal Lease Applications Vol 1 – 2010

    Final EIS for a number of different expansion projects around the southern Powder River Basin. Volume 1 of 2.
    http://coaldiver.org/documents/final-environmental-impact-statement-for-the-wright-area-coal-lease-applications-vol-1-2010

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