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Agriculture & Natural Resources

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South Dakota DENR

Mineral Exploration Operation conducted by Mineral Mountain Resources (SD) Inc. (Pertains to Mineral Exploration Near Rochford, SD)

Application for Water Right Permit. Mineral Mountain Resources (SD) Inc.has filed Application No. 2813-2 for a water permit to appropriate 3.68 acre-feet of water annually at a maximum pump rate of 0.022 cubic feet of water per second from one well completed into the Crystalline Rock aquifer (700 feet deep) located in the NW 1/4 SW 1/4 Section 24-T2N-R3E about one-half of a mile southeast of Rochford SD. The application identifies the water use as commercial and industrial uses for exploratory drilling. A report and recommendation have been prepared and the application is undergoing public notice. For updates concerning this matter, please visit the DENR contested case web page.

New Exploration Notices of Intent. On August 24, 2020, Mineral Mountain Resources applied for a new Exploration Notice of Intent (EXNI) located on the same private land covered under two previously issued EXNI's. Under this new Notice of Intent, Mineral Mountain Resources will be conducting exploration drilling for gold and associated minerals in the west half of Section 24; Township 2 North, Range 3 East. All drill holes will be plugged as required under state regulations, and all surface disturbance will be reclaimed. DENR issued a restriction letter for the project on October 5, 2020. For more information, please go to the Minerals and Mining New EXNI webpage.

Previously Issued Exploration Notices of Intent. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources DENR issued restriction letters for Exploration Notice of Intent (EXNI) 427 on June 9, 2017 and EXNI 434 on November 21, 2019 in accordance with South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) 45-6C. Both EXNI's cover exploration activities on private land in the Rochford area. Information on these EXNI's can be found on the Mineral Mountain EXNI archived webpage.

The Exploration Notices of Intent do NOT allow mining.  In the event the company decides to pursue a mining project, a mining permit is needed which requires public notice and the opportunity to petition and participate in a contested case hearing.

Temporary Permit to Use Water. Mineral Mountain Resources (SD) Inc. also applied for a temporary permit on December 19, 2017, to use water from Rapid Creek for mining exploration purposes as required by South Dakota Codified Law 46-5-40.1.  After reviewing the application for a temporary permit, the chief engineer issued a temporary permit with qualifications on January 2, 2018, with an expiration date of May 1, 2018.  The temporary permit allows use of up to 1.8 million gallons of water at a pump rate of 200 gallons per minute for exploration drilling for testing to assess mineral potential.  Monthly reporting of the amount of water pumped is to be provided to the chief engineer and will be posted to this webpage. The temporary permit does NOT allow water use for production mining. In the event that production mining is pursued, a regular water right permit would be needed which requires public notice and the opportunity to petition and participate in a contested case hearing.

Questions and Answers About the Project. If you have a particular question or concern on Mineral Mountain's exploration activities under its EXNI's or the temporary water right, an answer may be found in the Mineral Mountain EXNI-427 and Temporary Permit for Use of Public Water Q&A Summary.


Project Status Updates

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