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 9 million tons of coal in 2013 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.