The Associated Press turned to Manatt's Craig Moyer, chair of the firm's Land, Environment & Natural Resources Division, for insight into the Navajo Nation's recent agreement to purchase a coal mine in northwestern New Mexico.
The Associated Press reports that the tribe has an abundance of coal, but the $85 million deal with BHP Billiton marks the Navajo Nation's first venture in the coal mining business. The mine produces up to 8.5 million tons of coal annually and 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.
Moyer, who served as the Navajo Nation's lead counsel in the deal, said the tribe should see $100 million a year in taxes and royalties from the coal mine and power plant. The cash flow to Navajo Transitional Energy Co., an energy company created by the tribe earlier this year, as a result of coal sales is expected to bring in $1 billion through 2031, he added.