Industry study touts jobs from Otter Creek mine

Published April 4, 2012 2:36PM (EDT)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A new study says the development of Montana's proposed Otter Creek coal mine would give a major boost to the eastern Montana economy and create almost 2,000 construction jobs.

The study was sponsored by the Montana Contractors' Association and produced by the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

Bureau director Patrick Barkey says the study provides a "what if" scenario that assumes construction of a 20 million ton mine in Powder River County near the Wyoming border.

He says such a mine would help generate more than $90 million annually in tax revenues and create about 350 permanent mining jobs.

Arch Coal, Inc. of St. Louis has purchased state and private leases in the Otter Creek area but has not yet submitted a mining plan.

By Salon Staff

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