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US BLM to hold competitive lease sale for coal reserves sought by Best Coal Co.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is accepting bids for lease of 160.82 acres of federal land in Jefferson County, Ala., in response to a lease application filed by Best Coal Co.

According to a notice published Sept. 4 in the Federal Register, the offering covers all coal reserves recoverable by surface mining methods.

The Narley Mine Coal Tract contains three mineable coal beds known as the New Castle, Mary Lee and Blue Creek seams of the Mary Lee coal group, under private surface lands.

The tract contains about 469,000 tons of recoverable high-volatile bituminous coal. The estimated average coal quality on an as-received basis is 12,500 Btu/lb, 3.50% moisture, 12% ash, 34% volatile matter, 50.50% fixed carbon and 1.50% sulfur.

It will be leased to the qualified highest cash bidder, as long as the bid meets or exceeds the BLM's estimate of the fair market value of the tract. The minimum bid established by regulation is $100 per acre or fraction thereof. A lease issued as a result of this offering will include a $3 per acre annual rental fee, or fraction thereof, and a royalty payable to the United States of 12.5% of the value of coal mined by surface methods and 8% of the value of coal mined by underground methods.

The coal lease sale will be held at noon ET on a date to be determined by the BLM Eastern States Deputy State Director, no sooner than Oct. 4. Sealed bids must be received on or before 9 a.m. ET on the date of sale.