Company begins exploratory drilling for gold in South Dakota

ROCHFORD, S.D. (AP) A Canadian company has begun exploratory drilling for gold in western South Dakota.

The Rapid City Journal reports Mineral Mountains Resources began drilling near Rochford earlier this month. The company plans to drill at least 12 holes ranging in diameter from 2 to 4 inches (51 to 102 millimeters) and in depth from about 1,000 to 1,300 feet (305 to 396 meters). Mineral Mountains also has requested drilling sites in the Black Hills National Forest, which is under review by the U.S. Forest Service.

The project has been opposed by neighboring landowners, environmentalists and residents who fear the negative impacts of a large-scale gold mine. Some Native American tribes have called the drilling a desecration of the Black Hills.

The drilling is being conducted on privately owned land.

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