BLM approves coal lease application in Moffat, Rio Blanco

The Bureau of Land Management signed Friday a final decision to offer 3,157 acres of federal coal reserves in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties in a competitive coal lease sale.

Blue Mountain Energy, Inc., operator of Deserado Mine located seven miles northeast of Rangely, submitted a Lease by Application for the parcel, according to a BLM news release.

The BLM estimates the parcel, located adjacent to Deserado Mine, contains 21 million tons of saleable coal.

The decision and final environmental assessment can be viewed online. A 30-day appeal period follows Friday’s decision.

A sealed bid, competitive coal lease sale will be scheduled following the appeal period.

About 90 percent of coal deposits in Colorado occur on public lands, the release states.

Currently there are nine producing coalmines, seven underground and two surface operations, encompassing 75,000 acres in the state.

In fiscal year 2011 coal energy production on BLM in Colorado directly contributed $884 million to the economy.

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