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Navajo Nation signs documents to acquire coal mine

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A company created by the Navajo Nation has signed off
on the purchase of a coal mine in northwestern New Mexico.

The $85 million deal with Australian-based BHP Billiton is expected to close on
Dec. 1.

The Navajo Mine is the sole provider of coal to the nearby Four Corners Power
Plant, which provides electricity to about 300,000 households in Arizona, New
Mexico and Texas.

The tribe created the Navajo Transitional Energy Co. LLC., earlier this year to
look into purchasing the mine that produces up to 8.5 million tons of coal
annually. The production level will decrease when three of the units at the
power plant shut down, and Arizona Public Service Co. acquires ownership of the
other two units.

BHP will manage the mine for three years.


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