The two groups signed the agreements on January 24 and the Crow Tribe submitted them to the BIA for the required approval shortly thereafter. The terms provide for exclusive options to lease and develop up to an estimated 1.4 billion tons of in-place northern Powder River Basin coal on the Crow Indian Reservation in southeast Montana, near CPE’s Spring Creek mine and Youngs Creek Mining Co. and CX Ranch properties. CPE has now paid a total of $3.75 million in option payments to the tribe. It will make additional annual payments during the initial five-year option period that could bring total payments during the period to $10 million. Upon any future exercise and required regulatory approval of a lease or leases, and development of mining, Big Metal Coal will provide preferential hiring, training and promotion to qualified Indians and will make bonus, production tax and royalty payments to the Crow Tribe.