RAPID CITY, SD — The public has expressed concern about an exploratory drilling project in the Jenney Gulch area of Pactola.
Rapid City’s Legal and Finance Committee heard from Larry Mann of F3 Gold and Professor Mark Bowron of the School of Mines who provided information about the project in an attempt to address people’s concerns.
Bowron says he is surprised that the board is talking about the issues without contacting the school of mines and that it would be “appropriate for the board to have a joint meeting, contact the school” and that exploration is not the ‘mining.
While Mann says the water will not come from Rapid Creek or water released into the creek drainage, and there is no point in drilling under Pactola.
Seven residents followed up with concerns about the program such as the water supply.
“We really have to stop now and consider the motivation,” Rapid City resident Justin Herreman said in a public comment. “What’s the motivation behind the half a million dollars they’ve already spent on this project and the million more dollars they’re going to spend?” What’s my motivation for skipping lunch today and pushing back three dates today to come here? Because we care about the future of our community. We care about the opportunity that I will have one day, I hope, for my grandchildren to have clean water. What do the folks at F3 care about? They live in Minneapolis – they care about money.
“One of the groups that is really knowledgeable is the Rapid City watershed, they know all the details. They provide us with some of the more technical stuff like decision notice and information from the mining company doing the exploration,” said Alan Anderson, chairman of the Rapid City Sustainability Standing Committee. “One of the other groups we have spoken to or are getting information from is the Clean Water Alliance for Rapid City; they’re pretty well versed on that too. Ultimately, Black Hills is a beautiful place. It means a lot to everyone who lives here and to everyone who wants to come and visit. People have the right to mine under the law in certain areas. But there are limits. When is it unacceptable and why is it unacceptable? »
Some community members say the city of Rapid City has rights to 89% of what goes into Pactola.
The Committee deferred discussion to Monday’s Common Council meeting, to allow all members to share their thoughts.
“About two years ago, this same group – many members are the same people who were in front of us asking us to support a resolution against drilling and mining in the Black Hills,” said Ritchie Nordstrom, Ward 2 Alderman. “Participants who spoke today [Wednesday] had to do with basically the same group that doesn’t want to see any drilling or mining in the Black Hills. What concerns me is that there are many steps in the process. If we even get to mining, I’m just speaking based on today’s information, with the thousands of drill holes we have in the Black Hills right now, I am skeptical that we will see any additional mining taking place in the Black Hills.
Legal and Financial Services passed 15 points today at the meeting.
The police department passed items to receive money for the Safe Neighborhood Project grants, the Johns Hopkins Agreement and JourneyOn Contract Provisioning Wages, as well as permission for personnel to apply for and accept the grant JAG 2022 to purchase forensic equipment if granted.
Money for a live-fire training tower for the fire department was also passed.
For the meeting agenda, you can visit The City of Rapid City website.