March 22, 2017

Voigt contests section

By Daniel Arens

As Coyote Creek Mine seeks to expand its mining development, the company continues to face opposition from a neighboring landowner.
Coyote Creek Mining Company, a subsidiary of North American Coal, began its mining operations south of Beulah in early 2016. They now plan to close portions of three undeveloped section lines to allow the mine to connect to substations.
One substation already exists north of the section lines, while the mine plans to install a second station to the south. Coyote Creek plans to create drag lines to connect to these substations. The North Dakota Public Service Commission considers the drag line installation to be mining, and requires the section lines to be closed.
As part of the continuing development of their mining, Coyote Creek wishes to close three ½ mile section lines. Each line connects with County 13, and is undeveloped. A road through the area was closed at a previous meeting
Casey Voigt and the State of North Dakota own the land on which these section lines are located. Voigt attended the Mercer County Commission public hearing for the closure to raise his concerns about the proposal and other issues he has with the mine.
Sarah Flath and Chris Friez, representing North American Coal, told the commission that their proposal “would not change the surface owner’s [Voigt’s] ability to use the section lines.” Instead, they stressed that the closure was only for the general public.
Voigt said the mine had said that these three section lines would not be closed until 2021, 2022, and 2023, respectively. He also argued that there were lots of dust issues off the road near his farm, and passed out photos of one specific incident to the commissioners.

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