West Elk Mine

SENTINEL FILE PHOTO

West Elk mine east of Somerset in Gunnison County

Colorado coal mine production last year rebounded from the year before, led by growing production at Arch Resources’ West Elk Mine in the North Fork Valley in response to a stronger market for thermal coal.

The state’s seven producing coal mines in 2021 produced a combined 12.14 million tons, according to state Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety data. That compares to just 10.63 million tons in 2020, one of the lowest annual production levels in the state in decades.