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BHSU will host meeting on proposed rare earths mine

Black Hills State University's School of Natural Science is collaborating with the Prairie Hills Audubon Society and the Clean Water Alliance to conduct a meeting on the proposed rare earths mine in the Bearlodge district of the Black Hills National Forest.  This public informational meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 23 at 6:15 p.m. in Jonas Hall 204.  

Mining company Rare Element Resources proposes to create a 232-acre open pit mine at Bull Hill on United States Forest Service land near of Sundance, Wyo.  Ore will be crushed and concentrated at a facility on the land.  The company proposes to build a chemical processing plant in Upton, Wyo., on private land next to the railroad. Some existing roads will be closed, some upgraded, and some new roads will be built.  Mineral exploration and extraction is expected to continue for 43 years.

As the mine will be on National Forest land, an Environmental Impact Statement must be written. The Forest Service seeks to find out what the public's concerns are about the mine and the chemical processing plant.

Presenters will include Jeanette Timm and Steve Kozel of the Bear Lodge District of the Black Hills National Forest, John Hadder of Great Basin Resource Watch in Nevada, and Bonnie Gestring of Earthworks in Montana.  Hadder will discuss the Mountain Pass mine, the only rare earths mine in the United States, and Gestring will offer her organization's expertise on mining issues in the western United States.

A question and answer session will follow the presentation. For more information contact Andy Johnson, BHSU assistant professor of physics, at 642-6508, Nancy Hilding of the Prairie Hills Audubon Society at 605-787-6779, or Lilias Jarding of the Clean Water Alliance at 605-787-2872 or  liliasjarding@gmail.com.

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