Legislature will hold special session Oct. 14

Legislature will hold special session Oct. 14
The purpose of the special session is to appropriate monies from the general fund for the development, construction, acquisition, improvement, maintenance or operation of a facility or laboratory for scientific research or technological development at the site of the former Homestake Gold Mine in Lead.�

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 governor, South Dakota Science and Technology Authority and Homestake Mining Company last week signed an amendment to the Agreement in Principle which 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.�

The Authority estimates that the budget for the mid-level 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 mid-level laboratory.

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