BLM taking comments on exploratory drilling for mine
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking comment on a company’s plans to drill on Oak Mesa in Delta County to evaluate a coal deposit.
Oxbow Mining, which owns the nearby Elk Creek Mine, is seeking to conduct two years of exploratory work to better understand the size and character of the coal deposit and potential effects on the environment from mining.
Oxbow’s proposal calls for exploration to be done on mostly private land. Of the 36 acres expected to be disturbed, half of an acre on public land would be used for a well pad. Oxbow anticipates drilling 43 exploration holes. The project also anticipates construction of 7.86 miles of temporary roads, 0.36 of a mile on public lands, and use of 30.55 miles of existing roads.
Access to the exploration drill pads would be on existing ranch, BLM and new private roads. Comments on the project will assist the bureau in identifying issues that should be addressed as part of the project evaluation under the National Environmental Policy Act.