Mineral industries including mining, metallurgy, and geology play an important role in the economy of South Dakota. Advancements in technology are changing the way the mining industry operates. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is one of only five universities that offer degrees in the mineral industries in the United States. With its central and convenient location, South Dakota Mines is well-positioned to become a hub that fosters innovation leading to more sustainable use of Earth’s natural resources, increased productivity and efficiencies in industrial operations, and foster growth of economic development in South Dakota. But we need help to accomplish those goals.

The current Mineral Industries Building on campus is in desperate need of replacement. Much of the education and research happening in this facility supports the technology needed to advance the mining industry in South Dakota for the 21st century. However, the outdated facility slows the speed of progress we make toward helping the nation meet its strategic need for critical mineral resources, securing our country’s energy independence, and creating new jobs in the region.

Not only would a new facility provide the needed resources for our existing earth science programs to thrive, but it would also increase economic development in the area. Industry leaders from across the nation recognize the opportunities that exist by collaborating with established local businesses and our university to develop new technologies. Rapid City has the potential to become the center of mining technology that could forge the future of science, engineering, and technology in the nation.

Executive Order

The Department of the Interior identified 35 critical minerals, which include many minerals we use in items every day, ranging from cell phones, cars, computers, plumbing, and other household materials. Currently, the United States relies on imports for 31 of the 35 of these critical minerals.

To address this problem and reduce the risk of losing our supply of these minerals, President Trump issued Executive Order 13817, A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals.

The Department of the Interior outlined six items in its federal strategy to take action on the Executive Order. A new mining technology center on the South Dakota Mines campus would directly contribute to three of the six items listed below (bolded). 

  1. Advance Transformational Research, Development, and Deployment Across Critical Mineral Supply Chains
  2. Strengthen America’s Critical Mineral Supply Chains and Defense Industrial Base
  3. Enhance International Trade and Cooperation Related to Critical Minerals
  4. Improve Understanding of Domestic Critical Mineral Resources
  5. Improve Access to Domestic Critical Mineral Resources on Federal Lands and Reduce Federal Permitting Timeframes
  6. Grow the American Critical Minerals Workforce

State Impact

South Dakota Constitution

Article XIV
State Institutions

§5. Mining and metallurgy to be taught. The Legislature shall provide that the science of mining and metallurgy be taught in at least one institution of learning under the patronage of the state.

Article XXI

§1. Seal and coat of arms. The design of the great seal of South Dakota shall be as follows: A circle within which shall appear in the left foreground a smelting furnace and other features of mining work.

South Dakota State Seal

Total Value Of Products Infographic

"If it can’t be grown, it must be mined."

Proposed Funding Sources Infographic