Lawrence County commissioners have delayed a permit for a proposed gold mine that would be built near Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota's Black Hills.
Commissioners on Monday cited the need to further study the mine plan.
The Deadwood Standard Project wants to extract gold six miles west of Lead. The site is just east of Spearfish Canyon, but the conditional use permit being sought calls for a 500-foot buffer from the rim of the canyon.
During Monday's special commission meeting, residents of Spearfish Canyon turned out in force to protest the proposed mine.
Water contamination worried residents the most. They feared that any leak would percolate through the limestone rock, infiltrating Spearfish Creek and groundwater sources.