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Western ND coal mine zoning affirmed by court

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A coal mine developer has won a North Dakota Supreme Court victory in a zoning dispute.

The court ruled Thursday that the Stark County Commission acted properly when it approved the zoning and land use changes.

Great Northern Project Development wants to build a coal mine, coal gasification plant and electric power plant near South Heart, west of Dickinson.

Construction hasn't started on the project, and it's uncertain whether it will be built.

The Dakota Resource Council environmental group and some nearby landowners challenged the Stark County Commission's decision to grant the land use changes.

The Supreme Court's ruling lets the changes stand. However, the justices also ruled that the Dakota Resource Council and landowners had the right to bring the dispute to court.