SHERIDAN — Navajo Transitional Energy Company announced the layoff of 130 employees at Antelope Mine in Wyoming and Spring Creek Mine in Montana, just north of Sheridan, Thursday afternoon.

A large portion of employees who work at Spring Creek reside in Sheridan County.

The decision comes after weeks of monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, its existing and expected impacts on the company’s customers and resulting reduction in coal demand, according to an NTEC press release.

Of the 130 laid off, 73 employees are from Spring Creek Mine and 57 from Antelope Mine. As economic and market conditions improve, NTEC will seek to bring back employees, the press release stated.

“We regret the hardship that this decision creates for families and our communities,” said Clark Moseley, NTEC CEO. “We are confident in our projections for future sales, and all mines will continue operations to fulfill orders as we look to better days ahead.”

In addition to the cuts NTEC made, Peabody Energy Corp. announced cuts to a Powder River Basin coal mine.

Peabody Energy cut about 170 employees from the North Antelope Rochelle mine near Wright.

Peabody is providing a severance package and additional support for career placement, said Gov. Mark Gordon in a press conference Thursday afternoon. In addition, Wyoming Workforce Services ensured that resources were available and ready for the affected employees.

“None of that brings back those jobs,” Gordon said, noting the decline of the coal industry across the nation. His team is seeking ways to pivot to support these workers, he said. “Our hearts go out to that community.”