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Uranium Mine Permit Process Postponed

The state Board of Minerals and Environment has postponed its hearings on a contested uranium mine in the Southern Black Hills.

Officials with the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources say the board will not rule on the application by Powertech Mining until other state and federal agencies have given approval.

For Powertech to begin mining both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must give a green light and set regulations.  

The state Water Management Board is also in the middle of hearings on the proposed use of water in the mine.

Various groups opposing the mine say Powertech is asking for too much water and will provide two few jobs.  Opponents also cite the risk of long term radioactive and heavy metal pollution.  

Mining company officials insist the process can be done safely with a benefit to the local economy.

State officials have not set any dates for when the hearings might resume.

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