County supports Wharf technical revision

Wharf garnered support at the county level for a technical revision submitted to the state of South Dakota for the establishment of new haul roads from the Portland Pit to the Flossie Dump to increase efficiencies. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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DEADWOOD — The Lawrence County Commission gave its support for a technical revision to Wharf state mine permits to use the proposed Flossie dump for waste rock from the currently active Portland Pit and the related establishment of haul roads to and from the Portland Pit to the Flossie dump. A request to add 2.9 acres of proposed disturbance that lies contiguous to the Flossie Dump site was also supported.

Wharf Environmental Compliance Coordinator Amy Gilpin addressed the commission regarding the revision.

“We submitted a technical revision to the state,” Gilpin said. “We wanted to start using what we term the Flossie Dump and there’s 2.9 acres included in that dump that aren’t in the current permitted disturbed area. They are within the mine permit boundary. So we wanted to add those 2.9 acres and they are contiguous to the affected land.”

The 2.9 acres was inadvertently omitted from the original boundary.

Commission Chairman Randy Deibert said the information provided to the commission by Lawrence County Planning and Zoning Administrator Amber Vogt indicated two things.

“One was some internal haul road revisions, and one was this disturbance area,” Deibert said. “In contemplation with staff – Bruce and myself and knowing that the haul road, as I understand, does not affect public traffic, if they needed to move on that … it wasn’t an issue, but we wanted to be very clear on this new disturbance area.”

Deputy State’s Attorney Bruce Outka concurred.

“The other part of it affected an internal road that would not affect access to any of the residents up there,” said Outka. “So that allowed Wharf to get that part approved and submitted. The question remains about the Flossie Dump and the official dumping and, I think extra digging.”

Deibert clarified.

“So, basically, the Flossie Dump was proposed at a certain acreage, and now you’re adding to that,” Deibert said.

Gilpin said yes and explained that the Flossie Dump and the Flossie Pit have been forecasted in Wharf’s mine plan.

“We proposed this technical revision because we want to start using the Flossie Dump a little bit earlier than we had originally proposed, than was originally proposed in the mine plan because that will create a shorter … haul for our waste,” Gilpin said. “Right now, we’re either hauling waste out to the Trojan rock facility or down to Golden Reward, so this Flossie Dump will give a shorter haul for our waste right now and in terms of mining progression, makes more sense.”

Gipin said the new haul roads would need to be created.

“So it’s a matter of convenience for the haul, basically,” Deibert said, asking whether or not the revision is a minor thing that can be taken care of administratively.

Commissioner Brandon Flanagan said yes, that what happens a lot of times on a technical revision is that notice is received at the Planning and Zoning office.

“Something where it goes outside existing disturbance area into a permitted area, a lot of times they want a comment or minutes from the commission saying it’s not a problem,” Flanagan said. 

The state requires verification from the county that there is no problem with proceeding with the technical revision.

“This technical revision is consistent with the conditional use permit with the county,” Flanagan said.

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