Biden administration moves to shut down planned gold mine in South Dakota

 March 20, 2023

Fox News reported last week that the Biden administration is moving to shut down a planned gold mine in South Dakota. 

The network cited a joint statement released by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service on Friday which said the agencies are considering a 20-year ban on mining that would cover 20,574 acres in the Black Hills National Forest.

BLM and Forest Service cite concerns over water quality

That would end a planned venture by a Minneapolis-based mining company called F3 Gold. Fox News noted that F3 Gold has promised not to extract water from the Rapid Creek Watershed or use hazardous chemicals.

However, the BLM and Forest Service aren't convinced, with BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning saying, "This proposal will help protect a primary source of drinking water for South Dakotans as the Forest Service assesses a 20-year withdrawal."

Meanwhile, Fox News quoted Forest Service Chief Randy Moore as saying, "We’re going to study the feasibility of withdrawing lands in the area, because any activity that might affect these critical resources deserves a thorough review."

Minnesota Republican Rep. Pete Stauber disagrees, telling Fox News, "We need to be using our resources we have here with our workforce, not taking them offline."

Stauber: Biden administration "hamstring domestic development"

"Whether it’s northern Minnesota, southern Arizona, Alaska, or now South Dakota, these sorts of land restrictions from the anti-mining Biden Administration hamstring domestic development of minerals we need for national defense, energy technology, and everyday life," he stressed.

This is hardly the first time that the Biden administration has put the brakes on a major development project in South Dakota.

Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden moved to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.

Suzanne Walker is a pipeline welder who in January told Fox News, "I was going to be on the Keystone XL project, but none of those jobs went. It got canceled, so I didn't see any of that work."

Keystone pipeline cancelation "devastating" for workers

"I know there are a few jobs out there, but we're trying to make it at home. I know a lot of people who fell on hard times," she added.

Pipeline foreman Neal Crabtree spoke up as well, calling Keystone's cancellation "devastating" for those who had been counting on the pipeline for employment.

"We were excited to start this project. You know, we have to work to keep our insurance hours going, we have to work to build our retirement," Crabtree explained.

"We were excited to start this project. You know, we have to work to keep our insurance hours going, we have to work to build our retirement," he recalled.

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