Ben Nuvamsa: Peabody builds a fortune at expense of tribes

"As you may know, the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation entered into three separate leases with Sentry Royalty Company (predecessor to Peabody Western Coal) beginning in the mid-1960s. The Navajo Nation has a “Navajo Exclusive” lease (No. 8580) and shares another lease with the Hopi Tribe (No. 9910). Peabody pays 12.5 percent of monthly gross realization (royalty) on Lease 8580 to Navajo; and pays 6.25 percent monthly gross realization to both Hopi and Navajo under Lease 9910.

The leases now provide for renegotiation every 10 years, referred to as “Lease Reopener.” Lease 9910 has not been formally approved by Hopi although it was due for renewal in 2007. Navajo approved its portions in April 2011.

Coal from the Black Mesa Mine was dedicated to the Mohave Generating Station (MGS), but MGS shut its operations in 2005. Today, very little if any mining is occurring in the Black Mesa Mine area. Coal mined on the Kayenta Mine area is delivered to NGS and royalties are shared by the two tribes under Lease 9910 Lease; and Navajo receives all royalties under is lease, No. 8580."

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Benjamin Nuvamsa : Peabody to Build a Considerable Portfolio at Our Tribes’ Expense (Indian Country Today 1/6)

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