Montana coal mine deal aims to boost Asian exports


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Coal companies have finalized a deal that consolidates ownership of a Montana mine and gives a Wyoming company an option to export coal through Washington state.

Ambre Energy and Cloud Peak Energy announced in a joint statement Monday that the deal involving the 120-worker Decker mine closed Sept. 12.

Australia-based Ambre took over Cloud Peak's 50 percent stake in the Decker mine and liability for $67 million in reclamation and lease bonds for the facility.

Cloud Peak, based in Gillette, Wyoming, gained the option to move almost 8 million tons of coal annually through a port that Ambre has proposed in Longview, Washington.

Ambre, Cloud Peak and other companies want to increase coal shipments to markets in Asia as domestic demand falters.

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