Deadwood Mining Project: an environmental danger?

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Some will argue there’s no place in the Black Hills more beautiful than Spearfish Canyon, especially during the Fall when the leaves are drenched with bright colors.

But could that natural beauty be threatened if the Deadwood Mining Project moves forward? Gary E. Heckenlaible and his group, “ACTion for the Environment” seems to think so.

“We have got a scenic byway,” said Heckenlaible. “The canyon is beautiful and what a mine like that would do being up on the rim is there’s gonna be noise, there’s gonna be air pollution and everything. Are we gonna give up Spearfish Canyon and maybe destroy or have a great impact on that for 40 jobs?”

“Once we get going with this we would be hiring 41 full-time workers for 10-years and these are good paying jobs of more than $50,000 a year on average,” said Dan Daly, Spokesman for the Deadwood Mining Project.

He says this project is what the northern hills needs, especially with the price of gold peaking at more than $1,600 an ounce.

Daly says he understands people are concerned and that’s why he’s taking a number of steps to make sure Spearfish Canyon isn’t harmed. One step includes a 500-foot buffer zone between the rim and the canyon mining project. Even still, Heckenlaible says he can’t drill the idea of that gold mine in his head.

“Our position isn’t should it be or if we do this or that,” Heckenlaible said. “Our position is no, no mine up there period!”

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