In November 2020, Mark Hughes filed a Notice of Intent to Conduct Mineral Exploration with the SD DENR. Following some controversy over inaccuracies in the application, Hughes filed a revised Notice of Intent in March 2021.
Hughes is proposing to explore for gold, tantulaum, garnet, hematite, and dolamite southwest of Custer. The exploration would involve digging 5 trenches with a backhoe, 10 feet to 30 feet in width and up to 10 feet in depth.
This proposed exploration would take place on Forest Service land, so an approved Plan of Operations from the Forest Service will be required before any activities can begin.