ONGOING + PROPOSED EXPLORATION

Standby Project

Mineral Mountain Resources (MMR) has been exploring for gold since 2019 on so-called private land near Rochford. They call this their Standby Project. MMR has openly stated that they drill at an angle, from “private” land to access minerals under Forest Service land, to avoid the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act requirements, including tribal consultations, that come with a project on federal land. MMR has also stated they hope for this project to become “another Homestake.”

MMR's depiction of the connections between Homestake and the Rochford area (Mineral Mountain Resources)
SD permits (DENR)

DENR summary of MMR activities and permits

In August 2020, MMR filed another Exploration Notice of Intent (EXNI) with SD DENR.

MMR DENR documents

MMR has held multiple water permits from SD DENR for their exploration. In fall 2020, the company applied for a new water permit to use well water near Rochford for their exploration. Several people intervened to contest the Chief Engineer’s recommendation of approval of this permit.

MMR Standby Project (DENR)
Map of proposed F3 Jenny Gulch Exploration Project and MMR Standby Project (Magpie Buffalo Organizing)

Interactive project map

Rochford Project

Federal permits (Forest Service)

MMR holds mineral rights all across the Black Hills. In 2017, MMR sought permission to explore for gold elsewhere in the Rapid Creek watershed, south of Rochford and north of Castle Peak. This was called the Mineral Mountain Resources Rochford Project.

According to the Forest Service, the MMR Rochford Project has been cancelled. However, at the Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board meeting on February 19, 2020, Mineral Mountain Resources re-appeared on the agenda, meaning that Mineral Mountain wants to expand its exploration activities onto federal land. We know that some of Mineral Mountain’s gold claims sit along the Pe’ Sla fenceline.

Proposed MMR Rochford Project Map (Forest Service)
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