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Release Date: 03/12/14
Contacts: Allison Sandoval, 505-954-2019    

BLM Issues Competitive Coal Lease in McKinley County, New Mexico

Santa Fe, NM –On March 10, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a 640-acre coal lease to develop about 9.2 million tons of recoverable coal adjacent to the El Segundo Mine in McKinley County, New Mexico. It sold for $2.3 million to Peabody Natural Resources Company.
In 2011, Peabody submitted a Lease by Application for this parcel to expand its 15,000-acre El Segundo mine, which is 35 miles north of Grants, New Mexico, and currently employs 340 people.  El Segundo produces approximately 8 million tons of coal per year for utility customers in New Mexico and eastern Arizona.
A lease sale for the tract was held in August 2013. However, an appeal of the decision to hold the sale was filed shortly thereafter. The BLM New Mexico State Director requested additional analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed lease before considering reissuance of the lease. The additional analysis was completed; and a final Environmental Analysis, Finding of No Significant Impact, and Decision Record were released to the public in January 2014.
The BLM’s open, competitive leasing process awards the lease to the highest bidder who successfully meets or exceeds the fair market value of the coal, as determined by the BLM.  All BLM coal leases are subject to an annual rental fee of $3 per acre as well as a twelve and a half percent royalty payment for developed coal (half of which is split with the State of New Mexico).

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

Last updated: 03-12-2014