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Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Costs in the Western United States.

Persse FH; Lockard DW; Lindquist AE
NTIS: PB 269 945 :34 pages
The Bureau of Mines estimated reclamation costs for 13 surface coal mines in 9 states west of the Mississippi River. With the exception of the Pacific coast coal province, at least one mine in each of the western coal provinces was studied. Cost estimates were made using standard estimating procedures from data obtained from company records, interviews with industry personnel, and onsite observations. Estimated costs are presented in four categories which represent the four phases of mined-land reclamation: (1) design, engineering, and overhead; (2) bond and permit fees; (3) backfilling and grading; and (4) revegetation. Estimated costs as of the first quarter of 1976 are expressed as averages and ranges in terms of per acre, per ton of coal produced, and per million btu. Total reclamation costs range from $860 to $7,200 per acre, from 6 to 84 cents per ton, and from 4 to 35.3 Mills per million btu. A mine in the northern great plains coal province (region d) showed the highest per acre cost whereas mines in part of the western region of the interior coal province (region a) experienced the greatest per ton and per million btu cost. The high cost of reclamation in the western United States is reflected in the backfilling and grading category, particularly in the cost of topsoil removal and subsequent replacement as required by individual state reclamation regulations.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Information Circular;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
IC 8737
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 269 945
Page last reviewed: October 29, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division