The Decker Mine in Montana consists of two mining areas with separate facilities, East Decker and West Decker. Both are managed by Kiewit Mining Group, Inc. The Decker mine is owned by the Decker Coal Company, a 50:50 joint venture between Cloud Peak Energy and Level 3 Communication.
In January 2010, Cloud Peak Energy announced that the Decker Coal Company had accepted a buy-out offer "from an eastern utility company for a coal supply contract originally scheduled through 2012." In an announcement CPE stated that "the customer’s contract accounted for approximately 30 percent of production for 2010 and the majority of the production for 2011 and 2012. The arrangement is mutually beneficial to both the utility and the Decker Joint Venture as it allows the utility to avoid purchasing coal it no longer requires, and Decker to pursue more favorable sales opportunities. Decker Coal Company currently holds no firm sales contracts beyond 2011, but continues to seek market opportunities for the approximately 42 million tons of non-reserve coal held by the Company."
Rio Tinto Energy America's 50% share in the joint venture was transferred into its spin-off company Cloud Peak Energy in 2008. RTEA stated on its website that "coal mined from Decker Coal is primarily marketed to utilities in the Midwest."
Cloud Peak Energy to ship more Powder River Basin coal to Asia
In June, 2011 Cloud Peak Energy signed a 10-year deal to ship basin coal to Asia from a port on Canada’s Pacific Coast. Cloud Peak Energy Inc. signed the deal with Westshore Terminals to ship coal through its Westshore Terminal in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company shipped 3.3 million tons of coal through the terminal to Asian customers in 2010. Cloud Energy operates the Antelope Coal Mine, Cordero Rojo Mine, Spring Creek Mine, Decker Mine, and Jacobs Ranch Mine in the Powder River Basin.
Cloud Peak sues Ambre Energy
Ambre Energy was sued by Cloud Peak Energy in July 2012. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Montana, the company alleged that Ambre's export plans to ship coal to Asian markets from the company's Decker Mine were developed without Cloud Peak's approval. The company is asking the court to remove Ambre as the mine's manager.
- Owner: Decker Coal Company
- Parent company: Rio Tinto Energy America
- Location: next to the Tongue River Reservoir near Decker, Montana
- GPS coordinates: 45.074006,-106.861267
- Production: 6,984,546 short tons
- Type of coal: low-sulfur subbituminous
- Mine type: Surface
- Number of employees: 131
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- Cloud Peak Energy, "Decker Coal Accepts Buy-Out of Coal Supply Contract", Media Release, January 6, 2010.
- Rio Tinto Energy America, "Decker Coal", Rio Tinto Energy America website, accessed July 2010.
- "Cloud Peak Energy to send more Powder River Basin coal to Asia" Jeremy Fugleberg, Star-Tribune, June 15, 2011.
- "Lawsuit clouds Ambre Energy's plans to export coal from Columbia River ports" Scott Learn, The Oregonian, July 16, 2012.
- "Major U.S. Coal Mines," Energy Information Administration