Oxbow Mining has drilled 24 holes on Oak Mesa. Information from those is being turned into geologic models so that volumes of coal can be calculated.
Most of the information that has been discovered so far is confidential, Steven Weist, manager of special projects, told the Hotchkiss Town Council on Oct. 10. There are two mineable seams at Oak Mesa.
"Based on the initial results, we need to drill two additional holes from where we are to figure out what is going on with the geology," Weist said.
Oxbow will have to do the Environmental Assessment process and receive approval before they can drill the two new holes.
They hope they can get permission for the two holes by springtime so they can drill the holes in mid-June to the end of June. That time frame depends upon how dry the ground is after this winter and when the equipment can access the area.
The two additional holes are located on 1,300 acres of private land. The coal is owned by the federal government.
After they have all the information from the 26 holes, Oxbow will decide what area they will apply to lease. "A lot of that will depend upon what happens to the coal market in general. The coal market is pretty depressed at the moment," Weist said.
Reclamation of the 24 drilled holes has been done. Seeding was done this past week. The reclamation will be evaluated in the spring and then a couple of times a year.
About the layoffs at Elk Creek Mine, Weist said, "You can only do so much when Mother Nature is against you. We have to regroup and push forward ... I think in the future, we'll get back to a good viable project."blog comments powered by Disqus