LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association is concerned about low prices for coal.

Marion Loomis says the price of Wyoming coal has dropped from $14 a ton to $6 a ton in the past six months because of low natural gas prices and less demand from power plants.

Speaking at a forum in Laramie on Tuesday, Loomis says Wyoming coal is still selling for higher prices because of contracts negotiated several years ago.

But as those contracts expire, new contracts will be negotiated.

The Laramie Boomerang reports ( ) that Loomis hopes the prices will turn around soon before many new contracts are negotiated at the lower prices.

Wyoming relies on the coal industry for billions of dollars in taxes, royalties and fees.