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No offers for Montana's 1/2-billion tons of coal


Montana's Land Board will have to reconsider its price for developing a half-billion ton reserve of state-owned coal after receiving no offers during a lease sale that ended Monday. Critics had said the price sought by the state was set too high and suggested Land Board members undermined the sale to appease mining opponents. The Otter Creek tracts hold an estimated 1.3 billion tons of coal, buried in a remote stream valley near Ashland. About half of those reserves are controlled by the state and the rest by Arch Coal Inc. of St. Louis. During a six-week lease sale, the state asked mining...

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