PEABODY WESTERN HAS RIGHTS TO COAL MINE EXTENDED 5 YEARS

PEABODY WESTERN HAS RIGHTS TO COAL MINE EXTENDED 5 YEARS

The U.S. Department of the Interior granted Peabody Western Coal Co. a five- year extension for its surface coal mine on the Navajo and Hopi Indian reservations in northeastern Arizona.

The company's Kayenta mine produces about 7 million tons of coal every year for use at the Navajo Generating Station near Page. It received its initial permit for surface mining operations on July 6, 1990.The permit extension followed a June 10 conference on the Navajo Reservation where 22 people spoke to the department's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement officials about their concerns over the mine's environmental impact on the area.

The department also received about 85 letters against the permit approval.