BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — One of the oldest coal companies in the U.S. says it expects to emerge from bankruptcy in coming weeks after a judge approved a plan to sell most of its mining assets to creditors.

Englewood, Colorado-based Westmoreland Coal Co. announced Monday that its mines in Montana, New Mexico and Canada will continue to operate under new leadership.

The company's Kemmerer Mine in Wyoming is being sold separately.

Westmoreland filed for bankruptcy protection in October to deal with more than $1.4 billion in debt. The move came after competition from natural gas and renewable energy sources drove down demand for coal over the past decade.

Westmoreland is the fourth major coal company to file for bankruptcy in recent years, joining Peabody Energy Corp., Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources.