Q: What is happening in Jenny Gulch?
The Black Hills National Forest announced on July 8, its intention to grant a gold exploration drilling permit to F3, a Minnesota mineral exploration company. The preliminary decision was made after the Forest Service published an environmental assessment for public comment in October 2021. The proposed Jenny Gulch Gold Exploration Drilling project is located north of Silver City, Pennington County, South Dakota.1
Q: What is F3 Gold?
The corporation F3 Gold, LLC, is an exploration and prospecting company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As of April 20, 2022, there were about 172,000 acres under active mineral claims. F3 Gold has almost 2500 mining claims in the Black Hills, including along either side of Highway 385 from just north of Sheridan Lake to north of the Lawrence County line, including directly around Pactola Reservoir.2
Q: Why is the Black Hills National Forest issuing a permit?
The 1872 Mining Act allows mining interests to develop mines and remove minerals from claims it has made on any public land. Land west of the Great Plains managed by the US Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management, unless designated as wilderness area, is generally open to mining claims. If the Forest Service manages lands that have mining claims, such as those in the Black Hills National Forest, it cannot deny activities to explore mineral claim areas.
Q: Who decided to greenlight the permit?
The District Ranger of the Mystic Ranger District on the Black Hills National Forest is the delegated lead agency’s responsible official for this National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of the Jenny Gulch Project.3 That is NEPA talk for the head honcho.
To see the rest of the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, download the "faqs_f3.pdf" below.