Legal battle over Rochford mining exploration continues

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Published: Jun. 12, 2018 at 10:26 PM MDT
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The legal battle over gold exploration near Rochford continues.

The two sides laid out their cases Tuesday morning in Seventh Circuit Court.

Three people have filed a civil suit appealing the state's decision to transfer an exploration permit from the Canadian Company Mineral Mountain Resources to its subsidiary, Mineral Mountain Resources South Dakota.

Mineral Mountain attorney Dwight Gubbrud, along with assistant attorney general Steve Blair, argued that the decision on the permit is not appealable and that the court's only jurisdiction in the matter is to dismiss the appeal.

They also argued that the decision was not made at a contested hearing.

Steve Gunn, the attorney for the group appealing the permit, argued that the decision is appealable, claiming the permit was never legally issued to the Canadian company in the first place.

He also argued that his clients qualify for the appeal since they have exhausted all of their administrative remedies in the cases.

Appellant Gay Kingman says, "This is our life for all of us, our grandchildren, the people that live here in the Black Hills. And if we have contamination, if we have a mine that goes in from a Canadian company that's coming down here to destroy our land, you know, it's not right. We need to protect our water."

Judge Robert Mandel gave each side 30 days to file additional briefs in the case if they wish.

A news release from Mineral Mountain dated June 4th says drilling has begun on their property near Rochford.

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