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FARMINGTON, N.M. -- The Navajo Nation is digging deeper into the likely costs and benefits of purchasing a coal mine from the Australian-based mining company of BHP Billiton.

The tribal announced in December it wants to buy the Navajo Mine, the sole provider of coal to the Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington.

The mine is also near Farmington. It has a work force of over 400 jobs that is mostly Navajo.

The tribe paid several firms $750,000 for a report on some basic questions regarding the mine, but now the tribe is considering commissioning a $2.3 million study.

The Daily Times is reports that the new study would help the tribe determine how much profit it could make from the mine and what amount of spending would be required.

Associated Press,

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