by Jim Maniaci
15 October 2004
ROCK — Peabody Energy, the world's largest private
coal company, already has a major presence in the Grants
area with the Lee Ranch Mine, about 35 miles northwest
mine employs about 250 workers and injects more than $70
million a year into the local economy through wages,
benefits, taxes and vendor contracts, according to the
company's Flagstaff-based press officer, Beth Sutton.
year, Lee Ranch shipped 6.9 million tons of coal
recovered from 26 seams that lace a 170-million ton
reserve in the San Juan River Basin.
has coal supply contracts with Tucson Electric Power
Company, Arizona Public Service Company, the Salt River
Project, Western Fuels and the Arizona Electric Power
Cooperative, which operate several generating stations
in northeastern Arizona and serve millions of customers.
said Lee Ranch employees have reclaimed nearly 3,000
acres of mined land "to a condition that is
typically 50 percent more productive for grazing than
native range. Employees have been recognized for
responsible stewardship and safe mining practices nearly
a dozen times since the mining began. This includes an
Excellence in Surface Mining Reclamation Award from the
U.S. Interior Department."
mine is named after Floyd Lee on land that's been worked
for centuries, tracing its heritage back to a Spanish
land grant in the 1700s.
began at Lee Ranch in 1985, six years after the initial
exploration and four years after the permit was
obtained. Peabody obtained the mine in an exchange
between Hanson Natural Resources Company and Santa Fe
Pacific Corporation in 1993.
the 1970s, Peabody also has operated the Black Mesa and
Kayenta Mines on the Navajo and Hopi reservations, with
the first sending its coal through a 270-mile slurry
pipe to Laughlin, Nev., for the Mohave Generating
Station and the second shipping its coal via an 85-mile
electric train to the Le Chee Chapter, on the south
shore of Lake Powell east of Page, for the Navajo
reservation mines are unionized; Lee Ranch is not