Earlier this year, the Authority decided to evaluate the feasibility of an Interim Laboratory to be constructed at the 4,850 foot level in the Homestake Mine.�Based upon its findings, the Authority has decided to move forward with the Interim Laboratory, which could provide space for underground experiments as early as 2007.�The Amendment provides for donation of the property necessary for the Authority to plan for and implement the Interim Laboratory.
The state of South Dakota entered into an Agreement in Principle with Homestake in 2004 regarding the donation of certain property that Homestake owns in Lead for use as an underground scientific laboratory.�The Agreement in Principle provided that Homestake would turn over the laboratory property to the Authority no later than 30 days after the Authority demonstrated it has obtained funding, permits and approvals required to construct and operate the underground laboratory.�
"We congratulate Gov. Rounds and the Authority for developing this aggressive plan to develop the Interim Laboratory at Home-stake," said Patrick Garver, executive vice president and general counsel of Barrick Gold Corporation.�
The Authority estimates that the budget for the Interim Laboratory, including capital requirements and operating expenses through the year 2012, will be approximately $32.1 million.�The Authority controls, or has access to, approximately $15.7 million that could be committed to this purpose.�The Authority has requested that the Governor seek an appropriation of an additional $16.4 million to fund the Interim Laboratory, as well as Homestake believes that an additional contingency fund of not less than $3.5 million should be created to fund potential unanticipated costs associated with rehabilitation of the underground workings and equipment.��
The Authority has agreed that it will not proceed with underground development until it receives financial commitments.��Homestake agrees to support the Authority's efforts to obtain firm commitments from scientists to utilize the Interim Laboratory.
"As part of our 2010 Initiative, we want to be recognized as a leader in the areas of research and technology," said Gov. Rounds.�"With the creation of this laboratory, our efforts are being realized and this site will become an important tool for scientists throughout the world. We look forward to the day that we may be considered as the site for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory."��
The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced in July the selection of Homestake as one of two sites to receive $500,000 for development of a conceptual design for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL).
The Authority and Homestake agree that development of the Interim Laboratory at the 4850' level will make the Homestake site a more attractive candidate for eventual DUSEL funding.
The Authority and Homestake will continue to cooperate on issues relating to the conceptual design study and other components of the Authority's application to the NSF.��