The local paper knows how to get our attention. "Another Homestake?" shouts the Black Hills Pioneer's lead story Wednesday, lighting up the hopes of hard-rockers all over the Northern Hills who recall the living wage hundreds of families used to get from sending Dad down the hole at Lead.
Mineral Mountain Resources, Ltd., a mining company based in British Columbia, recently acquired 289 mineral rights in the Rochford Mining District. The rights are located about 20 miles south and southeast of the former Homestake Gold Mine, and encompass about 4,500 acres of land.
The company is the same one that has been doing exploratory drilling for gold on 5,000 acres near Keystone, for the last five months, in what has been called the Holy Terror Project. Brad Baker, vice president of corporate development and director with Mineral Mountain Resources, Ltd., said the company has had very favorable results of high-quality gold deposits near Keystone and has very high hopes for the Rochford area [Wendy Pitlick, "Another Homestake?" Black Hills Pioneer, 2013.02.20].
Never mind that the mining industry is the single-biggest producer of toxic releases in the U.S. Never mind that Mineral Mountain Resources has already had one little oopsie at its Keystone digs. Never mind that the last batch of Canadians who ran Homestake flooded their mine to extort from the state absolution from environmental liabilities. If these new Canadians strike profitable gold, they know it'll be full steam ahead. Their press release on acquiring the Rochford mineral claims assures investors that "South Dakota has low political risk and a jurisdiction that embraces mineral development."
In other words, as an eager reader notes, we are easy targets.
There's no rush happening yet. Mineral Mountain Resources VP Brad Baker says the company is looking at poking around the Homestake gold formation around Rochford for perhaps ten years. This exploratory work will be done mostly by in-house geologists and a drilling contractor. But if they dig Rochford in a big way, we'd better have strong environmental protections and reclamation plans in place beforehand, since we won't be able to turn that someday-played-out mine into a second national science lab.