Court Upholds Ramaco's Right to Mine Coal

Ramaco Carbon's right to mine private coal assets has cleared a major hurdle, according to a news release from the company.

A Wyoming District Court judge in Cheyenne late last week affirmed that the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council was correct to give Ramaco an “order in lieu” of consent over objections from Big Horn Coal.

A consent “order in lieu” is a provision in Wyoming statutes that allows a state agency to grant conet to a mining applicant's permit filing when a surface owner is being unreasonable in withholding such consent.

Ramaco attorney Tom Sansonetti noted that the Wyoming District Court found the Environmental Quality Council had the statutory authority to determine Ramaco's right to extract coal beneath Big Horn Coal's surface land.

Big Horn Coal had appealed the council's unanimous vote in 2016. At issue in the appeal were Ramaco's longstanding express property rights to use the surface lands for the purpose of mining its coal as set out in a 1954 deed.

Sansonetti said the district court found that the language of the 1954 deed, when read along with a 1983 release agreement, effectively precludes Big Horn Coal from objecting to Ramaco's application for a mining permit for the Brook Mine.

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