Make way for scientific mines

South Dakota State Roundup

Published September 1, 2001  | September 2001 issue

After 126 years of unearthing gold, the Homestake mine in Lead will transform into a state-of-the-art scientific laboratory, if all goes as planned. With the mine scheduled to close this December, the National Science Foundation recommended Homestake as the site of a 7,400-foot-deep laboratory. The lab's location allows scientists to research subatomic particles called neutrinos without interference from cosmic rays.

Plans took a twist when Barrick Gold Corp. of Toronto announced its $2.3 billion purchase of Homestake Mining Co. Homestake officials insist that the merger has no bearing on the proposed $120 million lab.

Operations would proceed under a national consortium of universities including South Dakota institutions. Interim funding of $10 million has been approved by Congress.

Kelly Brooks