July 11, 2018 Read More →

New legal problems for owner of Powder River Basin mines

Casper Star-Tribune:

The CEO that obtained Wyoming’s Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mines last year is being sued for alleged unpaid royalties in Appalachia, the second lawsuit that Jeff Hoops’ West Virginia-based company, Revelation Energy, is facing in under a year.

Hoops formed Blackjewel LLC, a sister company to Revelation, to take over the Wyoming mines in 2017. The latest lawsuit is one of a number of troubles the Eastern businessman has encountered since becoming one of Wyoming’s coal producers.

According to court documents filed in the Western District of Virginia, Pocahontas Resources LLC is seeking nearly a half million dollars in royalties and interest from Revelation based on allegations Hoops’ firm committed fraud.

Pocahontas asserts Revelation is being underhanded in its reporting of coal sales. It has asked for a slew of documents from Hoops’ company to prove its claim, much of which the company has refused to provide. Pocahontas filed a request to compel Revelation to release that information earlier this month. The judge had not responded as of Tuesday.

Hoops has hit a few snags since arriving in the Powder River Basin.

Blackjewel was delayed in obtaining leases for Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr until Hoops addressed outstanding environmental offenses at his Eastern coal mines. Blackjewel has yet to obtain permits to mine in Wyoming, though Hoops said Blackjewel has the required reclamation bonds in-hand and would seek permits this week, a claim he also made in an email to the Star-Tribune in February.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has not yet received those applications, a spokesman for the department said Monday.

More: Second lawsuit entangles Wyoming’s newest coal producer

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