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Coal Mine Fees


The ownership of mineral resources in western North Dakota is of major interest these days, but title searches may have been a little lax in the 1950s. On this date in 1979, the Traux-Traer Company announced a settlement with the Bureau of Land Management. It appears the company had mined two-and-a-half million tons of federally-owned coal in Mercer and Ward Counties between 1949 and 1963, believing the mines were on private land. The mistake was discovered by a Geological Survey official in 1975, and the negotiated price for the coal was nine hundred thousand dollars, which was used to warm the coffers of the US Treasury.

Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis


The Bismarck Tribune December 17, 1979