Wyoming: 31 Blackjewel workers still owed $164,000

FILE - This Sept. 6, 2019, file photo, shows the Eagle Butte mine just north of Gillette, Wyo. Two of the biggest U.S. coal mines have been sold, raising the possibility that miners in Wyoming could return to work after almost four months off the job. Tennessee-based Contura Energy announced Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, that Blackjewel closed Friday on the sale of the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines to a subsidiary of Alabama-based FM Coal. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver, File)
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CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming officials say a bankrupt coal company has failed to pay 31 workers $164,000 in wages and benefits.

They say the number of workers owed money is likely higher but few have filed claims with the state out of fear of retaliation.

Milton, West Virginia-based Blackjewel owed over 500 Wyoming workers unpaid wages and benefits when the company filed for bankruptcy July 1 and closed the gates at two Wyoming mines now owned by a Navajo Nation company. Wyoming officials say Blackjewel hasn't documented payments it says it has made to workers.

Blackjewel officials didn't respond to a request for comment Thursday.