US landowners oppose Canadian company's gold search

Landowners who have properties such as cabins in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest are opposing a submission by Mineral Mountain Resources (TSXV:MMV) for an operating plan to drill 20 holes on federal land a couple miles south of the community of Rochford.

The Vancouver-based company’s objective is to search for gold through its US subsidiary. Another 12 sites will be drilled on nearby private land, where the firm already has a permit from the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

People rallying against Mineral Mountain’s project are worried about noise pollution, as well as that drilling rigs could cause to the Rapid Creek and Castle Creek drainage areas. However, the company states that no drill hole will go deeper than 4,000 feet and, therefore, there shouldn’t be any contact with aquifers. On that same note, the company says that after drilling, water may be disposed at a sewage treatment plant.

But concerned citizens are not buying these promises and some of them are asking the federal Forest Service to reject the project. However, the agency says it can only add conditions to the plan because the firm’s activities are legal under a 1872 law.

The controversial General Mining Act allows almost everyone, including foreign companies with local subsidiaries, to explore for minerals on federal public land.

Nevertheless, According to the Associated Press, Mineral Mountain CEO Nelson Baker said the application process is still ongoing and no permit has been issued yet for drilling on federal lands.