Golden Crest Project - Opportunity to Comment

Release Date: Aug 5, 2022

Spearfish, SD, August 5, 2022 — The Black Hills National Forest, Northern Hills Ranger District (NHRD), is considering a proposal from Solitario Zinc Corp. (Solitario) for the Golden Crest Exploration Drilling Project for gold mineralization at locations southwest of the Spearfish, SD on National Forest System (NFS) land.

Solitario possesses legal mining claims in this area and, under the General Mining Law of 1872, has a right to explore for sub-surface minerals on those claims. The Forest Service must consider this plan of operations and determine the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action.

The proposed drill sites are located west of Spearfish Canyon, from the Big Hill area south to the Limestone Plateau. No drilling would occur within Spearfish Canyon. Up to 25 exploratory drilling sites are proposed to search for gold mineralization. Each drill site would measure approximately 25X75 feet, for a combined estimated acreage of 1.0 acre. Drill holes will be approximately 4 inches in diameter and be drilled to a depth of approximately 1,300 to 1,600 feet. Some drill sites may have up to four additional angled holes from the same site.

Primary access to the drill sites would be along existing National Forest System (NFS) roads and trails, primarily NFS Road 134 (Tinton Road), NFS Road 733 (Timber Gulch Road), NFS Road 734.1 (Limestone North Road), NFS Road 735.1 (Timon Road) and FS motorized trails 8101 and 8051.

All sites would be reclaimed following drilling activities. Project activities would take approximately two years and three months. The proposed activities include exploratory drilling only; no mining activities, processing of ore, or storage of tailings would occur. If Solitario chooses to pursue mining activities in the future, a new plan of operations and a separate environmental analysis would be required.

The earliest possible date for implementation of the project is approximately late spring or early summer of 2023.

A public open house is planned for Wednesday, August 17, 2022, at the Black Hills State University (BHSU) Joy Center (1351 St Joe St., Spearfish, SD) from 5 PM to 7 PM (MDT). No formal presentation will be given. The intent of the open house is to provide information about the project and the planning process to anyone interested.

Comments on the Golden Crest Project can be submitted through the comment form on the project website and by clicking on the “Comment/Object on Project” link., which also includes more details about the proposed action. Comments can also be submitted via mail to: Attn: Golden Crest Project, Northern Hills Ranger District, 2014 North Main St., Spearfish, SD 57783 or via fax at 605-642-4156. Please submit any comments by September 2, 2022.

Any questions regarding the project can be directed to Steve Kozel or Chris Stores (Natural Resources Planner) by telephone (605-642-4622), Monday through Friday, between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM (MDT). 

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