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Westmoreland aims to sell some US, Canadian mines to lenders in restructuring

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Westmoreland aims to sell some US, Canadian mines to lenders in restructuring

Westmoreland Coal Co. proposes to sell its Canadian business and mines as well as its San Juan operations in New Mexico to company debt holders as part of a plan to emerge from bankruptcy by Feb. 28, 2019.

The coal producer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 9 along with its master limited partnership, Westmoreland Resource Partners LP, may also sell "substantially all of the assets" of Western Energy Co., which owns and operates the Rosebud mine near Colstrip, Mont.

Westmoreland plans to market noncore assets as well, according to an Oct. 9 filing detailing the restructuring support agreement with an ad hoc group of lenders. Those assets include the Absaloka and Savage mines in Montana; the Beulah mine in North Dakota; the Buckingham mine in Ohio; the Haystack mine in Wyoming and the Jewett mine in Texas.

The company intends to file a bidding procedures motion and a non-core assets sale procedures motion with the bankruptcy court by Oct. 18 and begin selling off core assets by Jan. 22. Westmoreland expects the court to approve the assets sale by Feb. 14.

By Nov. 8, the company aims to reach an agreement with representatives of the employees and retirees regarding changes to collective bargaining agreements and retiree benefits or file a motion if an agreement is not reached.

The purchaser of the mines' assets would be responsible for "reclamation and similar obligations arising under applicable environmental or mining safety laws," the filing said.