New Elk Coal Company Hopes to Expand
By Tracy Harmon
July 11, 2019 - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is set to host a public hearing at 6 p.m. July 24 to allow input on a draft environmental assessment delving into a proposed lease application that would expand the New Elk Coal Mine.
The meeting will run 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mount Carmel Center, 911 Robinson Ave, Colorado.
The proposed lease involves 1,279 acres of private land underneath which there is about 8 million tons of federally-regulated recoverable coal.
The coal is metallurgical quality coal typically used for steel manufacturing, according to a news release by Marie Lawrence of the BLM.
If approved, this lease would allow New Elk Coal Co. to access federally owned coal from its current facilities at the site of the existing New Elk Coal Mine. The coal would be mined by underground mining methods with no surface disturbance.
Access to this coal is anticipated to extend the longevity of the mine by five years once New Elk resumes coal mining operations.
At peak production levels, the New Elk Mine would employ up to 175 people, Lawrence reported.
“The BLM supports working landscapes across the West through multiple-use programs like coal,” said Keith Berger, BLM Royal Gorge field office manager. “We welcome diverse views and look forward to hearing from the public.”
Coal mines in Colorado generated $35 million in federal royalties in 2017. This revenue is split with the state, Lawrence reported.
Verbal comments related to the proposal would be accepted at the public hearing. All other comments can be submitted electronically.
The proposal, including maps and information about how to submit comments, is available online at https://go.usa.gov/xENMj.
Deadline for comments is Aug. 5.