This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
While the Bureau of Land Management weighs whether to sell big tracts of coal around Utah, the federal agency retrieved a major lease Tuesday after Horizon mine owners conceded they failed to pay required royalties and post a bond.
Hidden Splendor Resources acquired a lease in 2006 for its now-shuttered mine 15 miles northwest of Price. But for three months in 2012, it failed to pay the $8-a-ton royalty on Horizon production. And for five years, it failed to pay the $3-an-acre annual rent, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.
The U.S. Attorney's Office filed suit last December and reached a stipulated judgment against the company, which filed for bankruptcy in 2013, requiring it to pay $230,929 to cover unpaid royalties.
At its normal rate of production, it would have owed $560,000 for the missed three months of royalties.
The BLM has now canceled the company's coal lease, acting state director Jenna Whitlock said in a statement.
"Despite the requirements of the coal lease and our Notice of Noncompliance, the company failed to post the required bond for important post-mining reclamation," she noted.
Hidden Splendor is a subsidiary of Salt Lake City-based America West Resources. A call to its corporate office was not immediately returned.
The Horizon mine produced 280,000 tons a year through room-and-pillar underground mining techniques. It employed about 90 people before it ceased production three years ago, after federal mine safety officials ordered extensive changes and sealed part of the mine, according to the Utah Geological Survey.
Hidden Splendor had about 16 million tons of recoverable coal left under the federal lease.