BILLINGS, Mont. (The Billings Gazette) — Montana regulators have approved a 977-acre expansion of Spring Creek Mine, the state's largest coal mine, located near the Wyoming border.

The Billings Gazette reported that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality gave its final approval of the expansion on Monday, extending the life of the mine by four years to 2031.

Department officials say the expansion includes about 72 million tons of coal and is expected to produce up to $59.5 million in taxes for the state, and employ up to 340 workers.

The decision also includes more than $105,000 for 615 acres of lost habitat for endangered sage grouse.

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