* Leases state-owned coal reserves in Montana
* Arch gets right to mine 8,300 acres
* Bid $85.8 mln for lease, payable in April
NEW YORK, March 18 Arch Coal Inc ACI.N said
on Thursday it was the successful bidder for a coal lease in
Montana that will help it increase its operations in the Powder
River Basin coal fields.
Arch made a bid of $85.8 million, payable in April, for the
right to mine about 8,300 acres of state-owned minerals in the
Otter Creek Tracts in southeastern Montana, the St Louis-based
"We view the combined Otter Creek coal reserves as a
strategic platform for future growth in the Northern Powder
River Basin," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven
"We believe these Northern PRB reserves will help us
competitively serve U.S. power producers, supply additional
coal for export to emerging Asia or possibly house the site of
a future coal-conversion facility."
Arch, which sold 125 million tons of coal last year, now
controls about 1.5 billion tons of coal reserves in Montana's
Otter Creek area.
(Reporting by Steve James)