Bowie Resources, LLC has submitted a Technical Revision application to the Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety (DRMS) for its Bowie No. 2 coal mine permit in the North Fork Valley, just outside of Paonia. However, what it seeks in the Technical Revision is far more extensive, and significantly different from its current mining permit.

Bowie appears to be proposing to construct what amounts to an oil refinery and possibly a new power plant. Bowie’s proposal is to construct a coal gasification facility on its Bowie No. 2 coal mine site. As stated in the company’s application, the facility, known as a “DAXIOM Plant,” “will be used to convert coal mine waste to synthetic gas which is then used either to generate electrical power or diesel/fuel oil.” The project proposal envisions five coal gasification units operating 24 hours a day, and each capable of processing of 72 tons per day of coal mine waste. The plant would be built where the Bowie #2 Mine’s clean coal stockpile resides, after that stockpile is depleted.

This facility is unprecedented in scale and there is little information on the proposed technology and the Bahamian company behind the technology.

  • We are unaware that anything like it has been approved anywhere in the state. According to Todd Hartman, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “We’ve not really had an application like this before and still trying to figure out how it fits into our, or others’, review process.”
  • The “DAXIOM” process is experimental, “patent pending” and appears to be in use nowhere in the world; not a trace of it could be found on the Internet. According to the application, “In general, DAXIOM is a state of the art gasification process operated in a closed, oxygen deprived environment and generates virtually no pollution”. However, supporting materials indicate that it would emit carbon dioxide, considered the principal cause of climate change;
  • Bowie’s application materials show that the company behind the DAXIOM process is called El Camino Duro Investments Ltd., based in the Bahamas. However, there is no information to be found on this company.

Bowie representatives have not been reachable for comment. Why?

Such a facility would represent a dramatic change within Bowie’s permit boundary, potentially turning a coal mining operation into a hydrocarbon refinery facility. A refinery is a very intensive, complicated, risky endeavor and at the end of the day it’s a very dirty operation. This is NOT a Technical Revision.