Group says deal pending in Colorado refuge drilling suit |

Group says deal pending in Colorado refuge drilling suit

DENVER – A conservation group says a Toronto-based energy company will consider selling its mineral rights on a south-central Colorado wildlife refuge where it wanted to drill natural gas.

Christine Canaly of the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council says Lexam Explorations Inc. has agreed to sell its mineral rights if a $9.7 million deal can be reached by May 17. The agreement would settle a lawsuit over Lexam’s plans to drill on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge.

Lexam Vice President Stefan Spears confirmed Wednesday that an interim agreement was reached, but said the federal judge overseeing the case asked parties not to discuss it.

Canaly says groups involved in the lawsuit will try to raise private funding to the buy the mineral rights.

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