Blackjewel LLC bought more time in its ongoing bankruptcy Friday after a federal judge allowed the company to obtain an additional $900,000 to keep its skeleton operations open.

On July 1, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but a judge denied that. Under Chapter 11, a company can sell off its assets to pay lenders.

Instead, the future of the coal company, which operates the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines in Wyoming's Powder River Basin remains in limbo.

In addition to its Wyoming operations, Blackjewel operates several mines in West Virginia and Kentucky. Blackjewel attorney Stephen Lerner said some companies have expressed interest in buying some of the company's assets.

The $900,000 loan is in addition to $5 million that has already been approved and will keep a skeleton crew who are working to secure the mine and ship coal that's already been brought out of the ground, on the job.

Attorneys for Blackjewel said the company has already spent about $3 million of that.

Blackjewel still owes millions in unpaid wages, 401(k) contributions and other employee benefits and compensation.

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