- Associated Press - Sunday, June 4, 2017

ROCHFORD, S.D. (AP) - A Canadian company wants to move its search for gold almost 40 miles northwest from its current location in Keystone.

Mineral Mountain Resources wants to drill up to 120 exploratory near Rochford, which was a gold-mining hub in the late 1800s, the Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/2qH9Z1L) reported.

“The Rochford Project is vastly under-explored and has the potential to host several district-scale gold discoveries,” the company said in a February news release.

According to the plan, no drill hole will go deeper than 4,000 feet and the company doesn’t anticipate any contact with aquifers. Water for drilling would be pumped from Rapid Creek and stored in a tank, where cuttings would settle out so the water can be reused. After drilling, the water may then be disposed at a sewage treatment plant. After samples are removed, holes must be filled with bentonite, or concrete if an aquifer is found.

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources is reviewing the plan. The company may receive a permit by mid-June, said agency engineer Roberta Hudson.

Mineral Mountain paid $250 for an exploratory permit and will have a $20,000 bond with the state.

Mineral Mountain Resources may return to Keystone if market conditions improve, CEO Nelson Baker told the newspaper in an email.

Drilling water and bentonite from the Keystone drilling site leaked into Battle Creek in 2012. Drilling shut down for a week. Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials said the spill didn’t pose a hazard to people or fish.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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