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Cloud Peak Energy receives Crow Indian approval for PRB coal exploration

Oilfield Technology,

The Crow Tribal Legislature of the Crow Tribe of Indians, a 13,000 member tribe occupying a 2.2 million acre reservation in southeastern Montana, has voted to approve option and exploration agreements with Cloud Peak Energy, a major US coal producer. With this approval, the tribal chairman is authorised to execute the agreement, with signing expected to take place within the next month. Once signed, the agreements must be submitted to the US Department of the Interior (DoI) for review and approval within 180 days.

The agreements provide for exploration and three exclusive options to lease three separate coal deposits containing approximately 1.4 billion t of northern Powder River Basin (PRB) coal on the Crow Indian Reservation and near Cloud Peak Energy's Spring Creek mine and recently acquired Youngs Creek Mining Co. and CX Ranch properties.

Cloud Peak Energy will now pay the Crow Tribe US$ 2.25 million, with a further US$ 1.5 million upon approval by the DoI, and additional annual payments thereafter through the initial option period, to a cumulative total of up to US$ 10 million. Additional option payments would be made through any extension periods.

Written by Jonathan Rowland.

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