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Companies seek to drop dueling lawsuits over mine

By The Associated Press
Published On: Aug 29 2013 08:04:42 AM MDT
BILLINGS, Mont. -

 Two companies are seeking to drop their dueling lawsuits over a Montana coal mine after a tentative deal to sell the mine stalled over money troubles.
    
Ambre Energy of Australia and Cloud Peak Energy of Wyoming co-own the Decker mine. They announced Wednesday they need more time to negotiate over Ambre's bid to take full control.
    
Ambre has not come up with more than $70 million in cash to close the deal, first announced in December. There have since been numerous extensions of court-ordered deadlines to settle competing lawsuits in which Ambre sought to expand the mine's production and Cloud Peak pushed for closure.
    
U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby had ordered the two sides to settle by Friday or be prepared to go to trial on Sept. 6.