After rejecting as too low Signal Peak Energy’s bid last year for coal leases in the Bull Mountains, the federal Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday accepted another bid from the company.
This time, Signal Peak Energy offered $10.65 million, or 30 cents per recoverable ton, for five unleased coal parcels adjacent to its underground mine about 12 miles south of Roundup.
“With this successful coal lease sale, Musselshell County, the Montana economy and all Americans benefit from the jobs and royalty payments generated,” said BLM state director Jamie E. Connell in a statement.
The company’s winning bid was double what it offered in November. The BLM rejected the first offer as not representing the fair value for the publicly owned coal. Signal Peak asked for another sale, and the agency agreed.
In both auctions, Signal Peak was the only bidder.
Signal Peak Energy’s successful bid met or exceeded BLM’s estimate of the fair market value of the tract, the agency said.
The nearly 2,680-acre tract in Musselshell County contains an estimated 35.5 million tons of recoverable coal reserves, the BLM said. The tract is within the permit boundary of the mine and is integral to the mine’s continued operations, the agency said.