Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding permits for a proposed uranium mine in South Dakota.

But the mine, already about 15 years in the making, still faces more hurdles.

The proposed location is 13 miles northwest of Edgemont. That’s on the remote plains at the southwestern edge of the Black Hills, near the map dots of Dewey and Burdock.

Powertech, the company proposing the mine, is part of a Canadian company called Azarga Uranium.

Northern Hills Mine Put On Hold

Jan 22, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

A proposed rare earth mine in the Bear Lodge Mountains of Wyoming is on hold.   

The Bear Lodge sit just north of the Black Hills near the state line.  The mining company Rare Element Resources is backing the project.  Mine officials say a deposit in the area contains a high volume of minerals needed in the production of batteries and computer components.

CO Mine Wastewater Spill Highlights SD Cleanup Plan

Aug 13, 2015
Amy Varland

A recent spill of 3 million gallons of mine wastewater from an EPA Superfund Site in the Rocky Mountains turned Colorado’s Animus River orange.

South Dakota and other states across the west are dotted with abandoned mines that are now being cleaned up by government regulators.

Currently the Gilt-Edge Superfund Site in the Northern Black Hills has 68 million gallons of mine wastewater stored in holding ponds.     

But EPA and state officials are undertaking a $50 million project to reduce the annual cost of water treatment.

Heavy Runoff Overwhelms WHARF Pollution Control

May 21, 2014
Amy Varland

WHARF Resources is making an emergency discharge of water out of a containment pond at its surface gold mine in the Northern Black Hills this week.  The lined holding pond catches potentially polluted water that is normally treated before release into the Spearfish Creek watershed.   The extra heavy snow pack this year means high levels of runoff are overwhelming the mine’s containment system.   

Water Board Postpones Uranium Hearings

Nov 25, 2013

The State Water Management Board has postponed its hearings on a controversial uranium mine planned for the Southern Black Hills.

The hearings, that had been taking place in Rapid City, were examining the mines plans to use water out of two different aquifers.

A number of conservation groups opposed the mine project—in part because of the large amount of waste water generated in the mining process.  

Rare Earth Mine Takes Aim at Bear Lodge

Mar 3, 2013

It’s easy to take things for granted.   The cell phone in your pocket, the technology that makes hybrid cars work, the satellite that runs your GPS.  
All of these high tech gadgets are totally reliant on a set of special and unique metals, known as rare earth elements.  The minerals are key components in the technology surrounding our lives.