Navajo Nation Council Tables Coal Mine Proposal

December 24, 2013

Members of the Navajo Nation Council have tabled a proposal that would allow disputes over a coal mine to be settled in state, rather than tribal courts. 

Council members tabled the proposal on Monday. It involves disputes over a mine in northwestern New Mexico, according to the Farmington Daily Times, but the proposal was delayed after discussion about whether a super majority of council members’ votes was needed to pass it.

Delegates plan to revisit the Navajo Mine proposal later this week. Zurich American Insurance Company is asking the tribe to waive its sovereign immunity and settle any cases in the New Mexico and Arizona courts. Without that waiver the company is reluctant to issue $500 million in bonds and insurance to a tribal company that has been set up to buy the mine.

Two tribal committees have endorsed the legislation.