The proposed lease tracts are within the current mine planning area and contain an estimated 5.23 million tons of Federal coal


The US BLM has scheduled coal lease sale for tracts adjacent to Coyote Creek Mine in Mercer County. (Credit: Анатолий Стафичук from Pixabay)

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is conducting a Lease Sale that will award 320-acres of Federal coal adjacent to the existing Coyote Creek Mine in Mercer County, southwest of Beulah. The proposed lease tracts are within the current mine planning area and contain an estimated 5.23 million tons of Federal coal.

“We’re very excited about this project,” said Donato Judice, Deputy State Director for Energy, Minerals and Realty for the Montana/Dakotas State Office of the BLM. “By working together, the BLM and OSMRE are able to significantly reduce the time and effort it takes to go from an application to lease federal coal to issuing a Federal Mine Permit.”

The BLM is the leasing authority for all Federal coal reserves under the Mineral Leasing Act 1920 (40 C.F.R. 1505.3).

The Lease Sale will be held at the BLM Montana State Office on October 1, 2020 at 10 a.m. All members of the public are invited to attend. Social distancing will be practiced, and limited seating will be available due to COVID-19.

Approval of Coyote Creek Mining Company (CCMC)’s application to lease the Federal coal resources will maintain America’s energy independence and directly preserve 115 jobs at the Coyote Creek Mine. It would also preserve three positions at the Bismarck office, and 82 at the Coyote Creek Power Station, which the mine supplies with coal for power generation. CCMC’s operation also supports an estimated 591 indirect jobs that are dependent on the mining operation.

“I am glad to see the Bureau take this much-needed action to give Coyote Creek access to federal coal within their property,” said Senator Kevin Cramer. “These lease sales support mining jobs and provide critical revenues and resources to the local community. I will be monitoring the sale on October 1st and hope it leads to good news for North Dakota’s coal producers.”

The BLM and the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) were co-leads in developing the issue-based Environmental Assessment (EA) as part of an innovative Department of the Interior pilot project to streamline required National Environmental Policy Act compliance.

BLM used the document to analyze potential impacts of this leasing action, while OSMRE used it to facilitate a Federal mine plan decision. The North Dakota Public Service Commission (NDPSC) is a cooperator in the project and assisted in the preparation of the EA.

On July 17, the BLM signed a Finding of No Significant Impact and Decision Record on the EA, enabling the lease sale to proceed. The BLM and OSMRE actively engaged interested parties, partner agencies and tribal governments in the EA process and continues to value those working relationships.

Source: Company Press Release