Last major Black Hills surface mine continues to produce gold and silver

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Gold

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Crews will keep working the Portland Ridgeline the next three years in search of more gold and silver from the last large-scale surface mine in the Black Hills, an official for Wharf Resources told the South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment Wednesday.

Environmental manager Matt Zietlow said the mine next to Terry Peak ski area outside Lead paid about $4.5 million dollars in state severance tax last year on 76,840 ounces of gold and 50,575 ounces of silver.

Coeur Mining acquired the Wharf site in 2015. The Chicago, Illinois-based company has other mining operations in Nevada, Alaska, British Columbia and Chihuahua.

Zietlow said Wharf’s payroll was about $19.3 million for 206 positions last year and some $63.1 million of goods were purchased.

He told the board that mining had wrapped up at the Golden Reward area and activity now focused on Green Mountain.

Company video is at https://www.coeur.com/operations/mines/wharf-south-dakota/

Wet late-winter conditions slowed the operation.

“We’re roughly a month behind (on back-filling) because of the weather,” Zietlow said.

He described production in 2018 as down a little. In recent years production hit 100,000 ounces or more of gold.

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