The Black Thunder Coal Mine near Wright. Arch Coal says Black Thunder is the largest single coal mining complex in the world and the first coal mine in the world to ship 1 billion tons. It operates with six draglines, 22 shovels, and 148 haul trucks. The mine opened in 1977 and for many years was the largest single coal operation in the world. It is also the first coal mine in the world to transport one billion tons of coal.
The operation supplies over 10% of the total US coal production. In 2004, Black Thunder became the first coal mine in the US to ship a cumulative 1,000Mst (907Mt) over its 27-year life to date. Since its opening, the mine has produced and delivered around 2.2 billion tons of coal.