Talks Continue After Mine Shuttered in Dispute
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Negotiations are due to resume Friday in a legal dispute between Montana regulators and a Navajo Nation-owned company that prompted the closure of one of the largest coal mines in the U.S.
State officials said they were optimistic on reaching a deal with the Navajo Transitional Energy Company.
The company took over the 275-worker Spring Creek Mine near the Montana-Wyoming border this week after acquiring it in a bankruptcy sale.
The company shut down the mine Thursday when state officials said they wouldn't approve operations unless the company waives its immunity as a sovereign tribal entity.
Waiving immunity would allow the company to be sued over future environmental violations or mine reclamation costs.
Company representatives say they won't agree to a full waiver of their treaty rights.