CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The owner of U.S. Bentonite in Casper hopes to be back in business soon, after the mining company filed for bankruptcy and laid off 40 people.

Company owner Dave Kinghorn says he hopes many of the laid-off workers will be available once the company attracts investors and is able to reopen.

The bankruptcy filing was prompted by a dispute with electric utilities over a substation for a plant near Casper. Kinghorn says the utilities wanted an excessive payment to build the substation.

U.S. Bentonite filed for bankruptcy in March and reached an agreement with High Plains Power in June. The Associated Press most of the layoffs happened right after Thanksgiving.

The company operates four bentonite mines, two of which are being reclaimed.