Federal Land Management:

Estimates of Mineral Values and of the Economic Effects of Developing Minerals in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

RCED-98-5R: Published: Oct 31, 1997. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO obtained available estimates of the value of the energy and mineral resources associated with the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, and of the jobs, payrolls, taxes, and permanent school trust fund revenues that could be anticipated if these resources were to be developed.

GAO noted that: (1) the Utah Geological Survey estimated in 1997 that the value of all energy and mineral resources within the monument ranges from $223 billion to $331 billion; (2) the Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget had reported these values, which were computed on the basis of the survey's estimates of mineral resource reserves and their values, are not discounted to the net present value; (3) proposed Smoky Hollow project over 30 years is about $1.4 billion, which has a present value of $574 million (in 1993 dollars); (4) the Utah Geological Survey estimated in 1997 that the value of all energy and mineral resources within the monument ranges from $223 billion to $331 billion; (5) the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget estimated in 1996 that the cumulative value of the that would be mined at Andalex's proposed Smoky Hollow mine project over 30 years is about $1.4 billion; (6) GAO obtained two estimates of total employment in the state of Utah resulting from the proposed Smoky Hollow mine; (7) the Utah Energy Office's 1989 estimate included 378 jobs, with a total payroll of about $10.1 million annually; (8) the Governors' Office of Planning and Budget's 1993 estimate included about 599 jobs in Utah, with a total payroll of about $16.7 million; (9) the Governors' Office of Planning and Budget provided the only estimate of taxes; it estimated that a total of about $108.4 million (in 1993 dollars) in state and local taxes and state fees would result from the proposed mine over 30 years; (10) the Utah Geological Survey estimated that the coal development would provide up to $2 billion in royality payments to Utah's permanent school trust fund; (11) the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget estimated that a total of $18 million in coal royalties would be provided to the trust fund over the life of the mine; (12) the Office also estimated that the Smoky Hollow mine would generate a total of about $43.9 million in royalties to the federal government, and $40.6 million to the state, from federal land.

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