The Bureau of Land Management in Colorado will host a competitive coal lease sale at 9 a.m., Aug. 22, for a Lease By Application filed by Sage Creek Holdings, LLC, for a 400-acre tract of coal adjacent to the Twentymile Coal Mine southeast of Hayden, Colo.
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. The minimum bid for the tract is $100 per acre or fraction thereof. All leases are subject to an annual rental fee of $3 per acre in addition to an eight-percent royalty payment for developed coal.
The 400-acre federal coal lease tract contains approximately 3.2 million tons of recoverable coal worth $5 million in royalties that will be bypassed if not leased. Fifty percent of all royalties tied to energy development in Colorado is returned to the State of Colorado.
As proposed, the new underground mine operation will operate as Sage Creek Mine and will eventually replace the Twentymile Mine, which is expected to be depleted in four-to-five years.
Roughly, 90 percent of coal deposits occur on public lands in Colorado. Currently, there are nine producing coal mines (seven underground and two surface operations) encompassing 75,000-acres in the state. In fiscal year 2011, coal energy production on BLM Colorado public lands directly contributed $884 million to the economy and accounted for 5,719 direct and indirect jobs in Colorado.