South Dakota Proppants says it has found sand deposits about 15 miles southwest of Hill City that it says is of sufficient quality to be used in the fracking process. And because the proposed mine’s location is close to the Bakken oil fields, it would give SDP an advantage over competitors. The company has secured 1,750 acres of claims in the area it wants to mine. The company would have to get an operating permit from the state Board of Minerals and Environment and water permits from the state Water Management Board, a process that could take at least two years. The estimated jobs and annual revenues of the proposed sand mine compares favorably with the more controversial proposed Powertech in situ uranium mine near Edgemont. [Rapid City Journal editorial]Even if the GOP-owned Board of Minerals and Environment approves this mine near Pe'Sla and Jewel Cave National Park, the most realistic way to get the sand to the Bakken is to haul over Forest Service roads to US16 then load it onto rail cars at the siding in Newcastle, Wyoming. Tourists and locals would suffer the biggest headaches.
The new Rapid City Pierre and Eastern Railroad is owned by the same multinational as the rail link handling Powder River coal with access to the siding in Newcastle, Genesee and Wyoming, but RCPE has no track going north to the frack zone.
US85 north of Belle Fourche is already crumbling and over capacity so adding more traffic is senseless.
Santa Fe County rallied to stop basalt mining on La Bajada: will enough people in Custer or Pennington Counties care enough to protect the Black Hills?
More South Dakota fracking news linked here.