No Large Scale Mining Permit to be Issued to Powertech This Year


Next week’s mining permit hearings for the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine have been postponed. The South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment has continued the Powertech Large Scale Mining permit hearing until after all other local, state, and federal permits have been acquired.

In a statement sent to the lawyers involved in the case, the hearing examiner stated “[he] has reviewed the briefs and considered the statutory construction of SDCL 45-6B in total to determine whether the Board of Minerals and Environment (BME) is further able to fully consider the grant or denial of the permit without waiting for the other agencies and boards of the local, state and federal government to first rule on the licenses or permits within their respective jurisdictions. The failure of any of those other agencies or boards to grant their licenses, permits or other approvals may render a predetermination of the BME on the permit moot or potentially in conflict.”

Clay Uptain, chair of the Black Hills Chapter of Dakota Rural Action, stated, “We are grateful the mining board has made a decision to listen to the citizens of the state of South Dakota. We had requested they take this action and we are pleased and thankful that they have done so.”

Intervenor and Clean Water Alliance member Dr. Rebecca Leas responded to the announcement as well, stating, “I am very happy because all along I thought it was really a waste of taxpayers money to pursue this before those other permits were decided.”

With this action, no mining permit will be issued before the legislative season. Dakota Rural Action and the Clean Water Alliance will be working in the upcoming legislative session to ensure South Dakota has more protection for the citizens in place before the permit is considered again.

The Black Hills Chapter is a community-based affiliate of Dakota Rural Action members. The Black Hills Chapter organizes around local food, community, renewable energy, natural resources, sustainable agriculture and land preservation issues.