Rangely mine seeks new coal reserves

A Rio Blanco County coal mine is proposing exploratory drilling to look for additional coal reserves it can develop near its existing operation and leases.

Blue Mountain Energy Inc., operator of the Deserado Mine about seven miles northeast of Rangely, wants to drill up to 15 wells about 300 to 700 feet deep. It hopes to do the work this year, although the drilling license would be valid for two years.

The plan is to use a truck-mounted drilling rig, completing each well in about a week. The estimated seven acres of land that would be disturbed would be reseeded and reclaimed following completion of the work, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said in a news release.

The agency released an environmental assessment on the drilling and is seeking public comment.

Deserado, an underground longwall mine, has been producing coal since 1983. All of its coal is shipped by electric train 37 miles to its sole customer, the Bonanza Power Plant in Bonanza, Utah.

According to the environmental assessment, determination of the extent of coal reserves is needed “to ensure the maximum economic coal recovery by preventing the bypass of mineable coal and a continued supply of coal to the power plant.”

The environmental assessment may be viewed at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/wrfo/index.html.

Comments will be accepted through Sept. 26 and may be sent to Paul Daggett, BLM WRFO, 220 E. Market St., Meeker, CO, 81641, or to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Emails should include “Coal Exploration License” in the subject line.

For more information, call Daggett at 970-878-3819.

The BLM advises that while commenters can ask the agency to withhold personal identifying information from public view in comments, it can’t guarantee it will do so, and they should consider whether they want to include information such as addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.


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