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Release Date: 05/29/13
Contacts: Vanessa Lacayo, Public Affairs Specialist, 303-239-3681    

BLM Competitive Coal Lease Sale in Rio Blanco, Moffat Counties Nets $6.39 Million

Lakewood, Colo. – Today the Bureau of Land Management leased a 3,155-acre tract for $6.39 million to Blue Mountain Energy, Inc. to develop approximately 21.3 million tons of recoverable coal near the Deserado Mine in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties.

In 2011, Blue Mountain Energy submitted a Lease by Application for this parcel to expand its 7,000-acre Deserado mine, which is seven miles northeast of Rangely, Colo., and currently employs 164 people. The Deserado Mine produces approximately 2 million tons of coal per year and is considered a captive mine since all coal produced is sold and shipped to its sole customer, the Bonanza Power Plant.

The BLM’s open, competitive leasing process awards the lease to the high bidder who successfully meets or exceeds the fair market value of the coal, which is determined by the BLM. All BLM coal leases are subject to an annual rental fee of $3 per acre as well as an eight percent royalty payment for developed coal - half of which is split with the State of Colorado.

Currently, there are nine producing coal mines (seven underground and two surface operations) encompassing 75,000-acres in the state.  In Fiscal Year 2012, coal energy production on BLM Colorado public lands directly contributed $918.1 million to the economy, generating $57.7 million in royalties and 5,719 jobs in Colorado.

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  2850 Youngfield Street      Lakewood, CO 80215  

Last updated: 06-03-2013