SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management has issued a lease allowing for more than 9 million tons of coal to be mined in western New Mexico.
The federal agency said Tuesday it issued the 640-acre lease to Peabody Natural Resources Co. after considering an appeal that stemmed from a lease sale in August 2013.
The BLM says it weighed potential environmental effects and determined there would be no significant impacts.
Peabody paid $2.3 million for the lease, which covers land adjacent to its El Segundo Mine in McKinley County.
The mine employs about 340 workers and produces about 8 million tons of coal each year for utility customers in New Mexico and eastern Arizona.
Royalty payments from the coal production will be shared by New Mexico and the federal government.