Lead and Deadwood are returning to their roots with the exploration of gold

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Updated: Sep. 28, 2022 at 5:30 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Deadwood, one of the rowdiest towns in the West, started after the discovery of gold in 1875. The crowd that followed was filled with gunslingers and people hoping to strike it rich. Eventually, Homestake Mining Company staked a claim in Lead, lasting until 2001. Now, another company known as Dakota Gold has come in.

“So, my partner, Rick Bachmann, and I started Dakota Territory in 2011,″ said Jerry Aberle, chief of operations at Dakota Gold Corporation.

Long before starting Dakota Territory, Jerry Aberle worked at Homestake Mining while in college. Aberle then, worked at many mines throughout the world. Then his journey to starting his own mine began.

Here is how Dakota Gold Corp. became today:

  • In 2011 Dakota Territory was formed
  • Around 43,000 acres were acquired in the northern hills

In early 2022 Dakota Territory merged with another company and the name changed to Dakota Gold Corporation and then publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Now the company prides itself on responsible and sustainable gold mining. “One of the things that we are working toward is repurposing already disturbed mining ground and that being ground that was owned by Homestake Mining Company and mined by Homestake Mining Company in the past,” explained Aberle. “In everything that we are doing we’re buying and repurposing buildings in Lead, because we think that’s good for the community, and it’s good for us.”

One of the first repurposed buildings was abandoned for nearly a decade. Now it is used to identify the test cores.

“We have an environmental policy, and we have environmental audits, and we have environmental inspections, and it’s integral to what we’re doing and we’re doing it over a long term,” said the long-time mining employee. “And it’s not just to be green, it’s because that makes sense, especially in underground environments to go to electric vehicles that are cleaner.”

At the center of many decisions made at Dakota Gold Corporation is the community. The headquarters for Dakota Gold is currently at the historic Round House in Lead and they buy vehicles from local dealers.

“The indigenous people are local people also and we need to be very sensitive to that. We know that in many ways we’re in conflict with what people think and we’re trying to deal with that in the best way that we can,” stated Aberle.

Dakota Gold raises the importance of gold in our daily lives from parts of our cell phones to cars, and they want to ensure the mining is done in a responsible manner. Dakota Gold has also created a connection with South Dakota Mines to employ interns as well as Mines graduates.