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Crow tribe to lease 145 million tons of coal

By Associated Press
Published On: Mar 29 2013 07:37:30 AM MDT
BILLINGS, Mont. -

The Crow tribe plans to lease an additional 145 million tons of coal to Westmoreland Coal Co.
    
The lease is located next to the Absaloka mine in southeastern Montana.
    
Tribal chairman Darrin Old Coyote tells the Billings Gazette the lease is worth $12.5 million in bonus and advance royalty payments over the next 4 ½ years.
    
Westmoreland announced the deal Wednesday. It must be approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
    
The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based company has leased coal reserves from the Crow Tribe since 1974. If the deal goes through, it will allow the company to control 357 million tons of coal reserves and resources.