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Exploration for Federal Coal

Is it possible to explore for federal coal?
Yes, depending on the land use and coal leasing status of the lands which exploration is desired, three ways to explore for federal coal are:

  • On lands open for coal exploration and where the coal resource is not already leased, an exploration license from BLM is required.

  • On lands which you already have a federal coal lease, but no permit to mine has been issued, you need to have an exploration plan approved by BLM.

  • On lands which already have a federal coal lease and a permit to mine.

Is the data from an exploration program available to the public?
All data obtained from an exploration program must be provided to BLM. Generally, BLM does not make exploration data available to the public. However, the law provides that exploration data can only remain proprietary until a lease is issued for the area or as determined by BLM.