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Minerals and Mining Program

Powertech (USA), Inc. - Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Land Determination

Powertech (USA), Inc. has submitted to DENR a "Request for Determination of Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Lands and Notice of Intent to Operate" for a proposed uranium in situ leach mine and processing facility. The proposed mining and processing area is located about 13 miles northwest of Edgemont, SD.  The legal location of the proposed exploration operation is SW1/4 and W1/2 NW1/4 Section 28, Section 29, N1/2 and SE1/4 Section 30, E1/2 Section 31, Section 32, NW1/4 and SW1/4 and SE1/4 and S1/2NE1/4 Section 33, Section 34, and Section 35; T6S-R1E, Custer County and Section 1, Section 2, Section 3, W1/4 Section 4, Section 5, Section 10, Section 11, Section 12, NW1/4 and W1/2 NE1/4 and NE1/4 NE1/4 Section 14, and N1/2 Section 15; T7S-R1E, Fall River County.  The Request is being submitted as the first step in obtaining a large scale mine permit for the in situ mine and process facility.  Approximately 1600 acres will potentially be affected by the mining operation and associated disturbance.  The area will be returned to livestock pasture after mining is completed.

Any prospective mine operator is required under ARSD 74:29:10:02 to request the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to determine whether the lands included in the proposed mining operation have special, exceptional, critical, or unique attributes by submitting a notice of intent to operate to the department.  As part of the notice of intent to operate, the mine operator must include a detailed assessment on whether the lands in the proposed mining operation meet the following criteria of SDCL 45-6B-33.3:

     (1)  The land is so ecologically fragile that, once it is affected, it could not return to its former ecological role in the reasonable foreseeable future;
     (2)  The land has such a strong influence on the total ecosystem of which it is a part that even temporary effects felt by it could precipitate a system-wide ecological reaction of unpredictable scope or dimension; or
    (3)  The land has scenic, historic, archaeologic, topographic, geologic, ethnologic, scientific, cultural, or recreational significance.     

After the application is considered complete, Powertech will publish a notice notifying the public that is has submitted a notice of intent to operate to the department for purposes of determining whether the lands potentially affected by the proposed mining operation are eligible for inclusion on the preliminary list of special, exceptional critical, or unique lands.  The public notice will also indicate that any citizen, organization, or agency may nominate lands described in the notice of intent for inclusion on the preliminary list by submitting a nominating petition to the department complying with the requirements of ARSD 74:29:10:16 and ARSD 74:29:10:20 within 60 days after the publication date of the notice.            

If the proposed mining operation is placed on the preliminary list of special, exceptional, critical, or unique lands, a final determination on whether the lands should be designated as special, exceptional, critical, or unique will be made by the Board of Minerals and Environment during the hearing on Powertech's large scale mine permit application.   The designation will not necessarily preclude mining in the proposed area.  The board may require Powertech to comply with special mine permit conditions to protect any special, exceptional, critical, or unique attributes of the area during mining.

DENR Status

 

Powertech's Request for Determination of Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Lands and Notice of Intent to Operate

Request for Determination of Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Lands and Notice of Intent to Operate Application Form, Cover Letter, General Mine Plan, and  Special, Exceptional, Critical or Unique Assessment - Includes Proof of Filing to Custer County and Fall River County Register of Deeds Offices (7,682 KB pdf)

- August 21, 2008

Supplement Containing Revised Request for Determination of Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Lands and Notice of Intent to Operate - Includes Cover Letter and Revised Mine Permit Boundary (9,955 KB pdf)  Note: As requested by the State Archaeologist office, maps showing archaeologic sites are considered confidential under other statutes and are not available to the public.

- October 6, 2008

Powertech Memorandum of Understanding with South Dakota State Archaeologist

          

Powertech Correspondence

Powertech's Response to DENR October 6, 2008 Comment Letter

(3,437 KB pdf)

- October 8, 2008

Powertech's Email Response to DENR October 15, 2008 Email Comments

(2,606 KB pdf)

- October 16, 2008

Powertech's Mailed Response to DENR October 15, 2008 Email Comments (2,217 KB pdf) 

- October 17, 2008

Archaeologic Site Tables Submitted by Powertech Consultant Augustana College (2,230 KB pdf)

- October 20, 2008

Powertech's Submittal of Register of Deeds Proof of Filing and Agency Receipts (3,810 KB pdf)

- October 23, 2008

Powertech's Affidavit of Publication for Notice of Request - Hot Springs Star

(426 KB pdf)

- November 4, 2008

Powertech's Affidavit of Publication for Notice of Request - Custer Co. Chronicle (439 KB pdf)

- November 13, 2008

 

DENR Correspondence

DENR Completeness Letter to Powertech (599 KB pdf)

- September 8, 2008

DENR Response to October 6, 2008 Supplemental Information (526 KB pdf)

- October 6, 2008

DENR Email Response to October 8, 2008 Supplemental Information

(242 KB pdf) 

- October 15, 2008

Notice of Request for Determination Sent to Powertech to Publish in Newspapers (800 KB pdf) 

- October 23, 2008

DENR Notifies Review Agencies of 60-Day Comment Period (412 KB pdf)

- October 24, 2008

Comment Letter from State Archaeologist office (710 KB pdf)

- December 2, 2008

DENR Letter to Brandon Brygider (341 KB pdf)

- December 9, 2008

DENR Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Lands Inspection Report

(3,985 KB pdf)

- December 17, 2008

Memo Summarizing DENR Phone Conversation with Charmaine White Face Concerning Nominating Petition (182 KB pdf)

- December 29, 2008

DENR Determination that Proposed Mine Area does not Constitute Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Lands (515 KB pdf)

- December 31, 2008

Copy of DENR Determination Sent to BME Mailing List (508 KB pdf)

- December 31, 2008

DENR Letter and Determination Sent to Parties Submitting Nominating Petitions (463 KB pdf)

- December 31, 2008

Memo Summarizing DENR Phone Conversation with Charmaine White Face Concerning Nominating Petition (182 KB pdf)

- December 31, 2008

Memo Clarifying Area to be Nominated in Debra White Plume's Nominating Petition (50 KB pdf)

- February 2, 2009

Notification of Hearing Chairman for February 19, 2009 Hearing on Nominating Petitions (178 KB pdf)

- February 5, 2009

Memo Clarifying Area to be Nominated in Oglala Sioux Tribe's Nominating Petition (106 KB pdf)

- February 5, 2009

Notice of Hearing Affidavit of Publication from Black Hills Pioneer (252 KB pdf)

- February 17, 2009

DENR Letter to Charmaine White Face on Her Request for a Copy of Exhibit 5 from February 19, 2009 Board Hearing (22 KB pdf)

- February 20, 2009

Board of Minerals and Environment Determination that Area in Nominating Petitions Not Eligible for Inclusion on the Preliminary List of Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Lands (535 KB pdf)

- February 20, 2009

Notice of Hearing Affidavit of Publication from Capital Journal (611 KB pdf)

- February 25, 2009

DENR Letter to Debra White Plume on Her Request for a Copy of Exhibit 5 from February 19, 2009 Board Hearing (14 KB pdf)

- March 4, 2009

Notice of Hearing Affidavit of Publication from Edgemont Herald Tribune

(259 Kb pdf)

- March 5, 2009

Notice of Hearing Affidavit of Publication from Brookings Register (280 KB pdf)

- March 5, 2009

DENR Response to January 22, 2009 Comment Letter from Rosebud Sioux Tribe (27 KB pdf)

- March 5, 2009

 

Public Notices and Correspondence

DENR Notification of Notice of Intent to Operate to Interested Persons - As required in ARSD 74:29:10:06 (185 KB pdf)

- September 2, 2008

DENR Sent Notice of Intent to Operate to Board of Minerals and Environment List  (179 KB pdf)

- September 2, 2008

Charmaine White Face Request for Copy of "Request for Determination"

(138 KB pdf)

- September 4, 2008

DENR Response to Charmaine White Face Request  (177 KB pdf)

- September 4, 2008

Steve Willard Request for Copy of "Request for Determination" (138 KB pdf)

- September 4, 2008

DENR Response to Steve Willard Request  (158 KB pdf)

- September 5, 2008

DENR Press Release (27 KB pdf)

- October 1, 2008

DENR Publishes Notice of Request for Determination in Other Newspapers

(737 KB pdf)

- October 24, 2008

DENR Notifies Interested Persons and Board List of 60-Day Petition Deadline

(404 KB pdf)

- October 24, 2008

DENR Affidavit of Publication for Notice of Request - Edgemont, Custer Newspapers (523 KB pdf)

- October 24, 2008

DENR Affidavit of Publication for Notice of Request - Black Hills Pioneer

(257 KB pdf)

- November 3, 2008

DENR Affidavit of Publication for Notice of Request - Pierre and Brookings Newspapers (883 KB pdf)

- November 4, 2008

DENR Affidavit of Publication for Notice of Request - Rapid City Journal

(275 KB pdf)

- November 6, 2008

Nominating Petition Submitted by Debra White Plume by Email to Place Area on Preliminary List (1,817 KB pdf)

- December 28, 2008

Nominating Petition Submitted by Oglala Sioux Tribe by Email to Place Area on Preliminary List (1,908 KB pdf)

- December 28, 2008

Nominating Petition Submitted by Charmaine White Face & Defenders of the Black Hills to Place Area on Preliminary List (1,908 KB pdf)

- December 29, 2008

Comments on Powertech's Request for Determination Submitted by Elaine B. Eagle (5,323 KB pdf)

- December 29, 2008

Letter Submitted by Charmaine White Face in Response to December 29, 2008 DENR Phone Conversation (193 KB pdf)

- January 2, 2009

Revised Map Submitted by Charmaine White Face for Nominating Petition

(287 KB pdf)

- January 6, 2009

Notarized Signature Page Submitted by Oglala Sioux Tribe's Attorney for Nominating Petition (328 KB pdf)

- January 12, 2009

Comment Letter from Rosebud Sioux Tribe (1,083 KB pdf)

- January 22, 2009

Notice of Hearing and Letters to Publishing Newspapers (1,333 KB pdf)

- January 26, 2009

Letter from Richard Elston Supporting Powertech's Proposed In Situ Mining Operation (153 KB pdf)

- February 3, 2009

Intervention Petition from Powertech for February 19, 2009 Hearing on Nominating Petitions (698 KB pdf)

- February 10, 2009

Comment Letter on Nominating Petitions from Susan Gronwall (164 KB pdf)

- February 17, 2009

Letter from Oglala Sioux Tribe Attorney Withdrawing as Counsel for Tribe's Nominating Petition (161 KB pdf)

- February 17, 2009

Comment Letter on Charmaine White Face Nominating Petition from Sylvia Lambert (167 KB pdf)

- February 18, 2009

Charmaine White Face Response to Powertech's Intervention Petition

(653 KB pdf)

- February 18, 2009

Comment Letter on Nominating Petitions from Lilian Jarding, PhD (5,099 KB pdf)

- February 19, 2009

Request from Debra White Plume for Copy of Exhibit 5 from February 19, 2009 Board Hearing  (128 KB pdf)

- March 4, 2009

Request from Charmaine White Face to Restart Process on Powertech's Request for Determination (502 KB pdf)

- March 10, 2009

Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order for February 19, 2009 Board of Minerals and Environment Hearing on Nominating Petitions and Order Denying Charmaine White Face's Motion to Restart Process on Powertech's Request for Determination (2,680 KB pdf)

- April 22, 2009

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