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Interior to offer competitive lease for 2.4 million tons of North Dakota coal

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Interior to offer competitive lease for 2.4 million tons of North Dakota coal

About 2.4 million tons of mineable federal coal will be offered for competitive lease in Oliver County, N.D. in response to a lease by application submitted by BNI Coal Ltd.

BNI, a subsidiary of ALLETE Inc., initially submitted an application for a federal coal lease in North Dakota in November 2014 to lease the tract of federal coal at its Center mine, a lignite-producing surface mine. The mine produced about 4.3 million tons of coal in 2017 and 2.1 million tons in the first half of 2018, according to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The Bureau of Land Management wrote in a Sept. 6 notice that a lease sale for the 160-acre tract will be held at 11 a.m. on Oct. 10 in the BLM's Billings office. Bids are due at least an hour beforehand. The offered lease will require an annual $3 per acre rental fee and a royalty of 12.5% of the coal's value payable to the federal government.