BLM posts notice about Decker Coal exploration plan in Montana

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will in the Feb. 29 Federal Register put out for comment an application by Decker Coal to explore new federal coal reserves next to its Decker mine in the Montana end of the Powder River Basin.

BLM is looking for any parties willing to participate on a pro rata cost sharing basis in a program for the exploration of federal coal deposits in Big Horn County, Montana, encompassing 12,618.11 acres. These cost sharing invitations are mandated by federal regulations, but rarely accepted, since these mines are usually far enough away from any other mine that no party wants to look at these reserves for its mine.

Any party seeking to participate in this exploration program must send written notice to both the BLM and Decker Coal no later than 30 days after this Federal Register notice or 10 calendar days after the last publication of this notice in the Sheridan Press newspaper, whichever is later.

The U.S Mine Safety and Health Administration classifies Decker Coal as being controlled by Lighthouse Resources, and shows that the Decker surface mine produced 3 million tons in 2015 and 3.4 million tons in 2014. In 2015, Salt Lake City-based Ambre Energy North America changed its name to Lighthouse Resources. Said the Lighthouse Resources website: “The Decker Mine is served by BNSF Railway and produces approximately 3 million metric tons of coal each year. A sizable resource of 868 million metric tons and reserves of 138 million metric tons remain at Decker. Along with supplying the existing domestic market, Lighthouse Resources is working towards exporting coal from Decker to the international market.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.