The coal-bearing Upper Cretaceous Fruitland Formation occupies an area of about 14 square miles in the extreme southeast corner of the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation in San Juan County, New Mexico. In this area, the Fruitland Formation contains an estimated 252 million short tons of coal in beds that range from 1.2 to 14 feet thick. About 100 million short tons of coal occur under less than 500 feet of overburden in the Ute Canyon, Upper Main, and Main coal beds. These three coal beds reach a cumulative coal thickness of about 18 feet in a stratigraphic interval that averages about 120 feet thick in the prospecting permit area, which is located in the extreme southwestern part of the study area. The southwestern part of the study area is probably best suited for surface mining, although steep dips may reduce minability locally. A major haul road that was recently constructed across the eastern half of the study area greatly improves the potential for surface mining.
Core sample analyses indicate that the apparent rank of the Ute Canyon, Upper Main, and Main coal beds is high-volatile C bituminous. Average heat-of-combustion on an as-received basis is 10,250 British thermal units per pound, average ash content is 15.5 percent, and average sulfur content is 1.0 percent.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Coal resources of the Fruitland Formation in part of the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation, San Juan County, New Mexico|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Description||Report: iv, 15 p.: Plate: 57.43 x 41.31 inches|
|County||San Juan County|