New drilling slated for the Black Hills

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The U.S. Forest Service wants your opinion on a new drilling project in the Black Hills.

A new exploratory drilling site is set for the Silver City area. The company is expected to drill 40 holes looking for gold.

Minnesota-based F-3 Gold holds valid exploratory drilling rights to an area just north of Silver City. The plan would see the company drill on roughly 40 drill sites in search of gold. Each site could have multiple holes drilled. Mystic District Forest Ranger Jim Gubbles said the company will be responsible for refilling those holes after they extract a core sample.

"The drill sites are relatively small like 50 feet by 50 feet and they will drill from depths of 500 feet to 6,000 feet depending on what they find in their core samples and then they will analyze those core samples for the resources they're interested in," Gubbles said.

Before any drilling takes place the Forest Service will hold public comments on the plan. The first opportunity is set for next Thursday, January 16, from 5 to 7 at the Mystic Ranger District Office.

"It certainly is a topic that folks will be very interested in and will have comments on and I think it's important to understand that this specific project right now is just exploratory drilling. It's not a mining proposal right now," Gubbles said.

The approval process will take almost a year. No drilling is expected to take place before December.

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