Colowyo Mine is one of two fuel suppliers to Tri-State's Craig Station. The mining operation is located about 10 miles north of Meeker, Colo. - approximately 25 miles from the power plant.
The mine was originally developed in 1978. Elk Ridge Mining and Reclamation, LLC. purchased the mine from Rio Tinto Energy in 2011.
One of the state's largest surface coal production operations, Colowyo Mine and its staff of more than 200 employees produce over two million tons of low sulfur, subbituminous coal annually from a 29,000-acre permitted site. Personnel at the mine use both draglines and truck and shovel operations for removing the overburden and extracting the coal.
The coal is extracted, crushed and transported to an on-site rail head, where it is shipped by train to Craig Station's load-out facilities. Approximately five trains, pulling 50 or more 120-ton railcars, make weekly deliveries to the power plant.