About the Project
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), Western Region Office, will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for a federal mining plan modification for the Antelope Mine lease modification to federal coal lease WYW-177903 (the Project). The Antelope Mine is located approximately 20 miles south of Wright, Wyoming, and 55 miles north of Douglas, Wyoming. Antelope Mine uses a truck and shovel and dragline mining method. The amount of remaining recoverable federal coal authorized for removal within the currently approved federal mining plan is approximately 409.6 million tons (Mt).
The Project proposes to add approximately 856.6 acres and 15.8 Mt of mineable federal coal to the approved federal mining plan. The annual production rate used to calculate the environmental impacts resulting from the Proposed Action will be 30 million tons per year (Mtpy), which is the estimated future annual production rate suggested by Antelope Mine and is below the maximum permitted production rate of 52 Mtpy set by WDEQ-Air Quality Division (AQD) air quality permit MD-13361. Antelope Mine started operation in 1982 and the mine will continue to operate until 2039 under the current, approved mining plan. Using the estimated 30 Mtpy production rate, the Project would extend the life of the mine by approximately 0.5 year.
The EA will disclose the potential for direct, indirect, and cumulative effects to the environment from the Project. Further, the EA will update, clarify, and provide new and additional environmental information for the Project.
OSMRE will prepare and submit to the ASLM a mining plan decision document recommending approval, disapproval, or conditional approval of the mining plan. The ASLM will approve, disapprove, or conditionally approve the mining plan approval document within the mining plan decision document, as required under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920.