GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A coal company has furloughed or laid off 101 workers at a Wyoming mine, citing reduced energy use during the coronavirus pandemic.

Navajo Transitional Energy Co. furloughed 93 hourly employees and eight salaried staff Thursday at the Antelope mine.

The furloughs and layoffs were necessary despite temporary pay reductions and other attempts to preserve jobs, the Navajo Nation company said in a statement.

The job losses were on top of 130 NTEC workers laid off in April — 73 from the Spring Creek mine in southern Montana and 57 at Antelope in northeastern Wyoming.

Both mines are in the Powder River Basin, the most productive coal region in the U.S. NTEC doesn’t expect more layoffs or furloughs at its mines in the basin, the company said.

The NTEC cuts bring the number of coal jobs lost in the basin this year to 526, or about 11% of the basin’s 4,800 coal workers, the Gillette News Record reports.

Electricity consumption in the U.S. has fallen by nearly 20% as businesses have closed and people stayed at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the NTEC statement noted.

Lower electricity demand has meant less demand for coal-fired power.

NTEC purchased the mines in 2019 after the bankruptcy of their previous owner, Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy.

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