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Pa. coal company acquires mine lease through November 2018

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Pa. coal company acquires mine lease through November 2018

A Pennsylvania coal company has acquired a coal mining lease in Schuylkill County, according to a state tax official.

Angela Toomey, the Pennsylvania Tax Claim Bureau director, told S&P Global Market Intelligence that S&J Coal Mine acquired the lease from the tax office, and that it involves a 102.1-acre property and is good until Nov. 30, 2018.

The bureau holds the lease in a trust and is allowed to lease some of the property off in order to gather delinquent taxes it is owed, a debt which Toomey said goes back to 1950. The parcel of land itself is owned by Aril Pardee Estate.

Toomey said the coal producer will pay a royalty of $4 a ton to the tax bureau to cover the delinquent taxes, which is above any normal tax rates paid on coal mined. Even if it does not mine coal, S&J must pay a minimum monthly royalty of $408.

"The delinquency on it is huge," Toomey said, adding that the estate owed about $1.6 million in taxes on the property — the result of any initial amount owed plus years of interest.

Blackwood Mining previously held the lease.

Toomey said that the coal producer will now need to get approval for the lease from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

S&J did not respond to a request for comment.