State mining regulators have withdrawn their approval of a large-scale coal-mining proposal on the Kaiparowits Plateau in southern Utah.

After approving the application from Andalex Resources Inc. last month, the state Division of Oil, Gas and Mining has been contacted by the federal Office of Surface Mining about the permitting process."The OSM has expressed concern that the division's approval did not comply in all respects with the requirements of the state's coal program," division director Jim Carter said Friday in a letter alerting Andalex officials of the withdrawal.

The letter did not detail what procedural issues were raised by OSM. But Carter wrote that once the questions are reviewed another decision will be issued either approving, denying or modifying the application.

The Dutch-owned mining firm didn't consider the state's action a setback to its plans to mine some 2.5 million tons of coal from the Smokey Hollow Mine in Kane County over the next 30 years.

"The state has said what we have submitted is adequate," said Dave Shaver, project manager for Andalex. "This is a procedural dispute between the state and feds, and we are on the sidelines on this one."

When the state issued its initial approval, Carter said Andalex's plan to mine 9,700 acres in the Warm Spring Canyon area of the plateau had received more scrutiny than any other previous mining application.

The state is also reopening the public comment on the permit and allow an environmentalist group to respond to Andalex's plan to add another 15,000 acres to the original proposal.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance has criticized the modification as a last-minute attempt to expand the mine without public review. SUWA has long opposed the project in an area environmentalists have fought to protect since the early 1970s.

SUWA attorney Heidi McIntosh said Friday's letter marks the second time the state has had to interrupt Andalex's permitting process to allow public comment.