Powertech (USA), Inc.
Exploration and Mine Permits

Powertech (USA), Inc. is a uranium company that plans to develop an in situ uranium mining operation in Custer and Fall River Counties in southwestern South Dakota (see Powertech's web site at http://www.powertechuranium.com. In 2007, the Board of Minerals and Environment issued Powertech a uranium exploration permit for the area. Powertech submitted an additional uranium exploration application in July 2008. The company has also started the process to obtain a large scale mine permit application. In August 2008, Powertech submitted a Request for Determination of Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Lands and Notice of Intent to Mine, which is the first step in the mine permit process. In April 2009, the Board of Minerals and Environment determined the proposed mine area did not have special, exceptional, critical, or unique characteristics.

Powertech submitted a large scale mine permit application on October 1, 2012. The department completed its review of Powertech's mine permit application and supplemental information and determined it was procedurally complete on January 16, 2013. On April 15, 2013, the department recommended conditional approval of Powertech's permit application. A contested case hearing on Powertech's mine permit application was held before the Board of Minerals and Environment from September 23-27, 2013 in Rapid City, SD.

Permit Applications


Consolidated Contested Case Hearing for Ground Water Discharge and Water Rights Permit Applications

On February 8, 2013, Everett Hoyt, acting as prehearing chairman on behalf of the state Water Management Board, ruled that Water Right Permit Applications (Nos. 2685-2 and 2686-2) and the Ground Water Discharge Permit Application (GWD 1-13) be consolidated for purposes of conducting a contested case hearing on the applications.

Consolidated Contested Case Information

Consolidated Case Webpage -- includes documents and hearing information pertaining to the contested case hearing for the water right permit applications and ground water discharge permit application.

Contested Case Hearing for Mine Permit Application

A contested case hearing on Powertech's mine permit application was held before the Board of Minerals and Environment from September 23-27, 2013, in Rapid City, SD. The hearing was continued to the week of November 11-15, 2013. However, the Board of Minerals and Environment issued an Order postponing the hearing until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have ruled and set the federal surety, and the state Water Management Board has decided the water rights. The Order further states that until those areas are completed “the BME cannot conditionally approve the permit and fulfill its statutory duties.” Documents pertaining to the contested case hearing can be viewed at Powertech's Large Scale Mine Permit Application Webpage.

Links to Federal Applications

Links to Federal Applications

NRC announced in an April 8, 2014 press release that it has issued an operating license to Powertech USA for the Dewey Burdock uranium recovery facility.

Hearings Schedule

The Board of Minerals and Environment is the permit issuing authority for the large-scale mine permit. The Water Management Board is the permit issuing authority for the state water rights and ground water discharge plan.

Due to the public interest, both boards scheduled contested case hearings on the Powertech permit applications to be held in Rapid City to make it easier for citizens who live West River to attend. Both boards, in late 2013, decided to postpone the hearings until the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have ruled.

The contested case hearings were scheduled as follows

September 23-26, 2013, Meeting Agenda - first days of large-scale mine permit hearing before the Board of Minerals and Environment at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Rapid City. Listen to daily meeting recordings here.

September 27, 2013, continue large-scale mine permit hearing before the Board of Minerals and Environment at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Alpine Ponderosa Room, in Rapid City

POSTPONED October 7-11, 2013, first day of water right permits and ground water discharge plan hearing before the Water Management Board at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Rapid City POSTPONED Listen to meeting postponement recording here.

October 28 to November 1, 2013, first day of water right permits and ground water discharge plan hearing before the Water Management Board at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Rapid City. Listen to daily meeting recordings here.

POSTPONED November 11-14, 2013, Board of Minerals and Environment will reconvene at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Rapid City, if needed POSTPONED

POSTPONED November 15, 2013, Board of Minerals and Environment will reconvene at the Hilton Garden Inn in Rapid City, if needed POSTPONED

December 9-13, 2013, Water Management Board will reconvene at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Rapid City, if needed. POSTPONED