About the Project
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), Western Region Office, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) prepared an environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) as co-lead agencies for the King II Coal Mine’s mining plan modification for federal coal lease CO-0106A and COC-62920 (the Project). In accordance with the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (MLA), The DOI Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (ASLM) must approve the Project before any mining and reclamation can occur on lands containing leased federal coal.
The King II Coal Mine is located in La Plata County, Colorado. The King II Coal Mine is an underground, “room-and-pillar” type coal mine with surface facilities that covered approximately 25 acres, and underground mining operation that covered approximately 565 acres, as of July 2015. The King II Mine is currently authorized to produce up to 1.3 million tons of coal annually from federal, State of Colorado, and private mineral leases, but a majority of the coal production at the Mine comes from federal coal lease #COC-62920. GCC has submitted an application to the BLM for a lease modification to COC-62920, which if approved would expand the area of that lease by approximately 952 acres. Most of the land encompassed by both the existing lease COC-62920 and the proposed lease modification area are “split-estate” lands where the federal government has retained ownership of the subsurface coal (and other minerals), but has disposed of the surface estate. The Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe owns much of the split-estate surface in this area.
The EA updates, clarifies, and provides new and additional environmental information for the Project. As a result of the EA process, OSMRE and BLM determined there are no significant environmental impacts. The ASLM has approved the mining plan modification in accordance with the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. Final documents are available in the Project’s Document Library.