South Dakota DENR
S.D. DENR has established a webpage on the Mineral Mountain drilling program at http://denr.sd.gov/mmexplore.aspx. The webpage has a Question and Answer link that may help answer your questions. The webpage also has a comment form that you may use to make additional comments.
Feb. 19, 2018
STOP GOLD MINING EXPLORATION: PESLA UNDER ATTACK
Download PDF: Save Rochford & Rapid Creek-byDuff
“Save Rochford and Rapid Creek” Group seeks to protect a precious Black Hills water source from gold exploration drilling and future gold mining. The central Black Hills group is opposing a gold exploration operation that would be at the headwaters of Rapid Creek and near an important Lakota Sacred site known as PeSla. The group has started a GoFundMe account that will help pay for outreach materials such as flyers, artwork, and mailings. Your donation will help defend against this outrage to the environment, forestall the company receiving additional permits to explore, make a template for future resistance, or even force the Forest Service to do an Environmental Impact Statement, which it has so far chosen not to do. Wopila [thanks given to all existence and the blessing inherent in each moment of it] Look for us on FB, @saverochford
Feb. 13, 2018
36 MINUTE LETTER
Feb. 10, 2018
THERE ARE TWO EXPLORATION EFFORTS UNDERWAY BY MINERAL MOUNTAIN RESOURCES. ONE IS ON PRIVATE LAND, AND THIS IS THE PART OF THE PROJECT THAT THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA HAS GIVEN PERMISSION TO GO FORWARD.
Feb. 7, 2018
Drilling Rig Moved into Rochford/Pe’ Sla Area
Drilling rigs have moved into an area outside Rochford, SD, near Pe’ Sla, a major Lakota sacred and historical site today, February 7, 2018. This is in the central Black Hills. Drilling for gold is planned to go up to the edge of Pe’ Sla (just separated by a barbed wire fence) and would go on 24 hours a day, with noise, lights, and traffic. Local residents and recreational activities would be negatively impacted.
The company involved, Mineral Mountain Resources, is from Canada and is taking advantage of South Dakota’s pro-mining state government to drill in this most sacred and special area.
The company has said they hope to create “another Homestake” mine. The Homestake gold mine in Lead, SD, removed several large hills, and left behind a huge crater, a contaminated river, and a Superfund site.
The current staging area is not in the place that the company said it would do its staging, and we believe it might be illegal. (View Photos)
The State of South Dakota government issued the exploration permit and the water permit necessary for the drilling. We must hold state officials accountable for this! Contact these two officials and ask them to revoke the exploration permit that was given to Mineral Mountain Resources now:
Steven Pirner, Secretary of the SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources — 605-773-5559 — or e-mail at email@example.com and put “ATTN: Steven Pirner” in the Subject line.
SD Governor Dennis Daugaard — 605-773-3212 — or e-mail through this link — sd.gov/governor/contact.aspx
Make sure they hear us, and let’s stop this plan to mine gold in a special place now!
GHOST TOWNS: Trojan went from mining boom town to artist community and back to a mine
Kelsey Sinclair Journal correspondent Jan 14, 2018
Getting to Trojan today would be difficult — after all, it’s just a hole in the ground, swallowed up by the Wharf Mine.
The only evidence that the town existed at all is some foundations scattered in the nearby woods and the memories of former residents. …. Read more.
UPDATE – two important meetings:
Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 at 9:00 AM (MST) – The Pennington County Planning Commission:
The Pennington. County Planning Commission will be reviewing a mining ordinance that a committee has been working on. The “mining” ordinance does NOT include hard rock mining, like gold or uranium! If this ordinance is passed, a company could mine gold or uranium in Pennington County without having to get a County permit. We need people to show up and ask the Commission not to agree to the ordinance unless hard rock mining is included — or to set up a specific process to create an ordinance that covers hard rock mining. The meeting is at 9:00 am in the Commission Chambers at the County Administration Building on Kansas City Street in downtown Rapid City.
SD State Board of Minerals & Environment Meeting Notice- Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 at 10:00 AM in Pierre, SD:
The South Dakota State Board of Minerals and Environment will be meeting on Thursday, Jan. 18 in Pierre with the company that wants to explore for gold near Pe’ Sla and Rochford in the central Black Hills. The company has asked to transfer its exploration permit from its international organization to its state organization (from Mineral Mountain Resources Ltd. to Mineral Mountain Resources (SD).) There will be a hearing, and there MAY be time for public comments. The permit change will be granted unless people can show that the company is and has violated laws. We need people to be there to push important issues. The meeting will be at 10:00 am Central Time at the Matthew Environmental Education and Training Center, 523 East Capitol Ave., Pierre.
Let’s stop this gold exploration at the headwaters of Rapid Creek and near an important Lakota Sacred site. Please donate if you can at GoFundMe.
“Save Rochford and Rapid Creek” seeks to protect a precious Black Hills water source from gold exploration drilling and gold mining. We represent a variety of allies concerned about threats to our home and heart, the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gold drilling operation in the central Black Hills (Rochford and Pe’Sla areas) will pollute land, air, and especially water. The drilling operation will slash through the forest, add toxins to the water, cause 24-hour racket and din, cut new roads that will not be restored. Wildlife will be disrupted.
There are already two Superfund sites in South Dakota. Whitewood creek is listed as a Superfund site. The water flowing out of the creek from Lead, SD is monitored for contamination caused by the historical Homestake Gold Mine that operated from 1878 until 2002, which released tons and tons of heavy metals into this waterway.
Superfund is a United States federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants. Sites managed under this program are referred to as “Superfund” sites.
WHILE RAPID CITY WATER BILLS GO UP, A CANADIAN MINING COMPANY IS GETTING THE WATER FOR (ALMOST) FREE
Rapid Creek and the central Black Hills are threatened by proposals to explore for gold. This could lead to new gold mining at the headwaters of Rapid Creek, which is used by Rapid City residents for drinking water, household use, and commercial uses. The proposal threatens Pe’ Sla, a Lakota sacred site that was recently re-purchased by four tribes at a high cost.
*The company is looking for what it calls “another Homestake mine.” Modern gold mining involves crushing large amounts of rock to reach microscopic bits of gold, then leaching the rock using cyanide to remove the gold. It takes about 20 tons of rock to get enough gold for one ring.
*At least three-quarters of modern gold mines leak into the surrounding water. Past gold mining in the Black Hills, including the Homestake Mine, left two Superfund sites – two of the most polluted sites in the United States. Our taxes pay the hefty bill.
*Mineral Mountain Resources (MMR), a Canadian company, has secured claims to about 5,500 acres of land around Rochford and near Pe’ Sla. They plan to drill up to 120 holes on privately-controlled land and an unknown number of holes on Forest Service-controlled land.
*The company’s operation in Keystone polluted Battle Creek, and – according to City officials – the company didn’t keep its agreement there and left early.
*The company already has two permits for private land exploration.
*The first, the water permit, was granted by the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) without any public notice or public hearing.
*Second, the DENR granted the exploration permit with only one legal notice (the fine print in the back of the newspaper) and no public hearing.
*State law needs to be changed to require proper notice of proposed exploration and water projects and an opportunity for the public to be heard.
*MMR has also applied for one of the needed permits to explore on Forest Service-controlled land. The public comments on this were due in late October.
*The Forest Service has suggested issuing a permit without any environmental assessment. The reality is that the proposed exploration would pollute the air, land, and water.
*Rochford residents, tribal governments, and Rapid City residents were among those who opposed rushing the permit process
*If exploration happens, drilling would take place 24 hours a day, disrupting wildlife and hunting, ceremonial use of Pe’ Sla, and area residents’ lives with noise, light, and heavy traffic on what are now ATV trails and closed roads. The beauty and serenity of the central Hills will be disrupted.
*Properties near the drill sites could lose their value – and would certainly lose their value if mining was allowed to begin. Mining would also use huge amounts of water in our semi-arid area.
*Under a federal law passed in 1872, mining companies can stake claims, mine, and end up owning the land. This must be changed to retain private property rights and to protect tribal and public control of recreational, ceremonial, and residential lands.
MUST THIS BE OUR FUTURE?
STOP GOLD EXPLORATION IN THE CENTRAL BLACK HILLS. NOT HERE. NOT NOW. NOT EVER.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED TO STOP THIS PROJECT
For more information or to donate: bhcleanwateralliance.org
Facebook: Save Rochford and Rapid Creek and Black Hills Clean Water Alliance
To Volunteer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to all those who sent in their comments opposing this gold exploration and proposed destructive mining.
10/19/2017 – PRESS RELEASE:
GROUPS WORK TOGETHER TO OPPOSE GOLD DRILLING
BLACK HILLS, SD: Three Black Hills organizations have banded together to oppose exploratory drilling for gold in the central Black Hills. The proposed drilling would take place south of Rochford in the areas of Rapid Creek, Castle Creek, Reynolds Prairie (Pe’ Sla), and Bloody Gulch. The three organizations are Save Rochford and Rapid Creek (SRRC), Dakota Rural Action (DRA), and Clean Water Alliance (CWA).
“It seems puzzling to us that Mineral Mountain Resources, a foreign company, can pull 1.8 million gallons of water from Rapid Creek and Castle Creek, and use it for nearly free, while Rapid City residents are seeing their water bills rise significantly,“ said Carol Hayse, a member of SRRC. “Everyone who gets water from Rapid Creek, which includes Rapid City, should be concerned about this proposal,” added Gena Parkhurst, a Rapid City resident and member of the Black Hills Chapter of DRA. … read more
Watch for updates here and on the Save Rochford Facebook page.