Fri Mar 13th, 2020
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host a competitive, sealed bid coal lease sale at 10 a.m. on April 10, for a lease-by-application for a 2,462-acre tract, approximately 14 miles west of Durango in La Plata County, Colorado.
The BLM and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement jointly released a preliminary environmental assessment in July 2019, which evaluated the scope of the LBA and addressed environmental and cumulative impacts. The Dunn Ranch Area Lease-By-Application and Mine Plan Modification Decision Record and Finding of No Significant Impact was signed on Oct. 11, 2019.
“This lease sale exemplifies the BLM’s support for working landscapes across the West,” said Acting Deputy State Director for Energy, Lands and Minerals Steven Hall. “The coal reserves in this tract will be used for infrastructure projects, generating millions of dollars to fuel Colorado and La Plata’s economies.”
The tract holds approximately 9.54 million tons of recoverable coal and is adjacent to the existing King II Mine. A total of up to 12 million tons of combined Federal and privately-owned coal will be mined under the mine plan modification if it is recommended by OSMRE and approved by the ASLM.
The sealed bid coal lease sale will be held at the BLM Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield St., Lakewood, CO 80215. The BLM’s competitive leasing process will award the lease to the highest bidder, who successfully meets or exceeds the fair market value of the coal, as determined by the BLM.
The tract will be leased to the qualified bidder of the highest cash amount, provided that the high bid meets or exceeds the BLM’s estimate of the FMV of the tract. The minimum bid for the tract is $100 per acre or fraction thereof. The minimum bid is not intended to represent FMV. The authorized officer will determine if the bids meet FMV after the sale. All leases are subject to an annual rental fee of $3 per acre in addition to an eight percent royalty payment for developed coal.
Mining coal from BLM Colorado lands and minerals generated $784.4 million in total economic output and supported over 2,000 jobs statewide in fiscal year 2018. Coal mines in Colorado generated $2 million in Federal royalties in 2018. This revenue was split with the State of Colorado. There are 49 coal leases covering 80,675 acres in Colorado, with six producing coal mines (two are surface mines, the remaining four are subsurface mines) totaling 60,000 acres with an estimated economic output of $1.2 billion.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.