Ten years ago on July 10, 2007, the National Science Foundation selected the Homestake Gold Mine in Deadwood to become a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL). The closure of the gold mine was announced in September 2000 after 124 continuous years of operation. The mine was sealed shut in 2003.
In order to facilitate work with scientists proposing the DUSEL, the South Dakota Legislature established the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) in 2004. Just two years later, the Homestake Mine was donated the mine to the SDSTA by the Barrick Gold Corporation. The donation released the gold company from any future liabilities or environmental concerns as a result of the new laboratory.
Homestake was unanimously selected as a location for a DUSEL by a panel comprised of 22 field experts. In the first round of competition, the Homestake Mine was among the top two finalists--the other was the Henderson Mine in Colorado--out of an initial group of eight. However, the National Science Foundation reopened the competition a year later in 2006, allowing the Universities of Seattle and Minnesota to submit proposals. Another year of careful resulted in Homestake winning outright.
Learn more about the DUSEL at the former Homestake Gold Mine at the Black Hills Knowledge Network issue hub page.