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January 29, 2009

Contact: 
    Roger Alexander
    307-775-6047

Cordero Mining Submits Successful Bid at Coal Lease Sale

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wyoming State Office announced today that Cordero Mining LLC, a Rio Tinto Energy America subsidiary, submitted the qualifying high bid of $48,098,424.00 (88 cents/mineable ton) for the North Maysdorf Coal Tract.

A qualifying bid must meet or exceed BLM’s estimate of the fair market value of the tract. The high bid met the fair market value and was accepted. The North Maysdorf Coal Tract had twice previously been offered but the bids received did not meet the fair market value and were rejected.

The 446-acre North Maysdorf Coal Tract contains an estimated 54.7 million tons of mineable coal. The tract is located in central Campbell County approximately two miles east of State Highway 59, four miles south of Bishop Road, and is adjacent to the Belle Ayr and Cordero Rojo coal mines.

More than half of the electricity consumed annually in the United States is produced from the 1.1 billion tons of coal used domestically each year, 32 percent coming from BLM-administered public lands in Wyoming. In fiscal year 2008, coal royalties of over $543 million were collected and shared equally with the State of Wyoming.

The BLM manages more land - 258 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

- BLM -