CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Opposition from local landowners and a competing company is slowing down permitting for what would be the first major new coal mine in Wyoming in decades.

Lexington, Kentucky-based Ramaco plans to mine up to 8 million tons a year from the Brook Mine north of Sheridan. That's small for a Wyoming coal mine but a bold move considering U.S. coal production slumped to an almost 40-year low last year.

Some local landowners worry the Brook Mine could cause their wells to run dry and that blasting could destabilize their homes. Meanwhile, another company claims rights to mine the area.

Wyoming officials say they're weighing those concerns as they consider a permit for the mine.

Ramaco CEO Randall Atkins says activists are using a delay tactic to stall the project.

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