Groups: Deal pending in Colo. wildlife refuge suit

DENVER — Opponents of energy development on a national wildlife refuge in south-central Colorado say there’s a pending agreement that could keep the area off-limits to drilling.

The agreement would settle a lawsuit by environmental groups challenging federal approval of plans by Toronoto-based Lexam Explorations to drill on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge about 200 miles southwest of Denver. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would redo the environmental analysis, delaying any drilling.

Lexam has also said it will consider offers to buy its mineral rights. Lexam Vice President Stefan Spears says the company has invested about $8.5 million in the project.

An attorney for the environmental groups says his clients are talking to private and public agencies about raising the money.



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