October 4, 2020 - A competitive, sealed bid lease sale for an estimated 5.23 tons of federal coal in western North Dakota was held Thursday, October 1.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) received one bid from Coyote Creek Mining Company of Bismarck, N.D., for 320-acres of federal coal adjacent to the existing Coyote Creek Mine in Mercer County, southwest of Beulah. The BLM sale panel determined the $32,000 bid met or exceeded the estimated fair market value for the coal. The BLM will not accept any bid that is less than the estimated fair market value.
'This lease sale will allow for mining to continue at the Coyote Creek Mine,' noted Loren Wickstrom, Field Manager of the BLM's North Dakota Field Office. 'This is important to the local economy and to the nation's energy independence.'
The BLM is the leasing authority for all federal coal reserves under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. This sale supports the goals outlined in Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth and Secretarial Order 3349, American Energy Independence.
Two 160-acre tracts of federal coal were offered for sale in response to an application filed by Coyote Creek Mining Company in December 2017. The BLM and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement were co-leads on a pilot project which conducted the Environmental Assessment of the project. A Finding of No Significant Impact and Decision Record was issued on July 17, 2020.
Continued production at the Coyote Creek Mine would preserve 115 jobs at the mine, three positions at the firm's Bismarck office, and 82 jobs at the Coyote Creek Power station which the mine supplies with coal for power generation. It indirectly supports almost 600 jobs that are dependent upon the mining operation.
The BLM will only issue the coal lease after giving the Department of Justice thirty days to conduct an anti-trust review of the bidder's coal holdings. When a coal lease is issued, an annual rental payment of $3 per acre is required, along with a royalty payment of 12.5% of the value of the coal produced.
More information on the BLM's coal leasing program is available online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/energy-and-minerals/coal.