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Montana State Office
Release Date: 11/14/11
Contacts: Mary Apple 406-896-5258    

BLM to Hold Coal Lease Sale

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold a competitive coal lease sale by sealed bid at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 16, 2011. The sale will be held in the 920 conference room (but may be moved to the large conference room) at the BLM Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Mont.

The 2,679.86-acre tract in Musselshell County contains an estimated 35.5 million tons of recoverable coal reserves. The tract will be offered for lease to the qualified high bidder provided the high bid meets or exceeds BLM’s estimate of the fair market value of the tract.    By regulation, the minimum bid that BLM can accept for any tract is $100 per acre, or fraction thereof.  The minimum bid is not intended to represent fair market value.  The estimate of fair market value is prepared by an experienced mineral appraiser. A successful competitive bid must meet or exceed the estimate of fair market value.  If a lease is issued, an annual rental payment of $3 per acre is required, along with a royalty payment of eight percent of the value of coal produced by underground mining methods. If the bid is accepted, the State of Montana will receive almost half of the bonus bid and almost half of future royalties.

The Musselshell County tract is being offered for sale in response to a lease-by-application (LBA) filed by Signal Peak Energy LLC in 2008. The coal resource to be offered consists of all reserves recoverable by underground mining methods. The tract is located approximately 12 miles south of Roundup and is adjacent to the Bull Mountains Mine No 1.

The BLM analyzed the impacts of leasing the coal in an environmental assessment and issued a decision earlier this year. The public was invited to participate in all aspects of this environmental analysis. The BLM’s decision includes provisions for monitoring and the inclusion of measures to minimize impacts.

Sealed bids must be submitted to the Cashier, BLM Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101. Bids must be received no later than 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 16.

For more information, or to obtain further bidding instructions, please contact Greg Fesko at 406-896-5080.

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.

Montana State Office   5001 Southgate Drive      Billings, MT 59101   

Last updated: 06-28-2012