Lead, South Dakota and the Homestake Gold Mine

South Dakota is the home for the deepest gold mine known in the world in a place called Lead. Lead is a town in the state of South Dakota and the mine is known as the Homestake Mine regarded as the largest and deepest mine in North America until when it was closed down in the year 2002.The mine has made a recordation of about forty million troy ounces of gold.


Gold Discoveries in Lead


It was first discovered in 1876 during the period of the Black Hill gold rush. It was later sold by the initial owner to for entrepreneurs at a cost of $70,000 in 1877, the new owner who had acquired it by then Mr. Hearst and the partners like Manuel, connected the internal part of the mine with the nearest rail that is from Sydney to ease the transfer of the ore and also to make it possible to get the services near to the Homestake mines.

The crushing of the ore began in July 1878 although the area was remote it solely depended on the rail and wagon hauling of the ore and the people who were intended to work in the mine.

The partners, later on, sold the shares of the Home-stake company and it was listed on the New York stock exchange in the following year as the second year of operation that was the year 1879.

By the listing of the company in the New York stock exchange, it became the second oldest company to be listed. The Homestake was expanded in a very questionable manner and on record, the owner by the Hearst bought other neighboring mining claims and at some point, one of the employees killed the owner of a claim but was later released due to the disappearance of the witnesses of the case and Hearst took over the claim.

By 1900 the Homestake owned 300 claims for gold from 30 claims in 1889.


Homestake Mine


It is estimated that by 1924, 2 million tons of Gold had been produced from Lead. The Gold ore was considered to be of a low quality by 1930 but the ore volume was large.

Homestake stopped its production of gold and the associated activities in the year 2000 due to the fall in the price of the gold world market. It became costly to maintain the pumps that were supplying oxygen to the workers underground.

Another reason that brought about the closure of the Homestake mine was the economical impossibilities that came with a high cost of maintaining the workers compared to the gold price that was now declining, and also the federal government had started coming up with more stringent regulations that governed the ownership of mining claims.

While mining is no longer taking place at the Homestake Mine, there are still some smaller mining operations taking place around Lead and in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This is still the largest open-pit mine in the United States.

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