Caballo Mine is located in Campbell County about 20 miles southeast of Gillette, Wyo., amid rolling uplands that support ranching and wildlife, as well as dry-land farming. The mine began production in 1978. The mine shipped 16.8 million tons of coal in 2012 and controls about 852 million tons of reserves that are recoverable by surface mining methods. Coal is mined from the Smith and Wyodak-Anderson seams and averages about 68 feet in thickness; overburden is about 230-feet thick.
The mine operates on a seven-day-per-week schedule with two 12-hour shifts daily. Caballo, one of the nation’s safest mines, has a workforce of approximately 275. Its coal is delivered to more than a dozen coal-based utilities located throughout the central United States.
Caballo is a cast blast, dozer-push, and truck and shovel operation. Coal is loaded with shovels and hauled to a hopper by end-dump trucks, where it is crushed and handled at a capacity up to 6,000 tons per hour. Crushed coal is transported to four storage silos by way of a 60-inch conveyor belt.
Three inbound and two outbound tracks are in place connecting with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads. The train-loading facilities are located over the loop tracks and are capable of handling unit trains carrying up to 135 cars. Trains are loaded using a flood-loading stage in conjunction with a batch weigh topping system. Typical loading times average two hours per train, and Caballo is capable of loading up to nine trains daily.