SD Mines inaugurates a $40 million mining building

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Construction begins soon on a new building at South Dakota Mines after an official groundbreaking ceremony for

the $40 million project last week.

The Nucor Mineral Industries building will house three mining-related departments: mining engineering, materials and metallurgy engineering, and geology.

Jim Rankin, president of South Dakota Mines, said the new building is important for the school’s future.

“We started in 1885 as a mining school. It continues here in South Dakota. This mining is still very critical,” Rankin said. “It gives us a chance to educate this next generation of students in the future. It also allows us to work with companies as we work on projects close to their hearts.

Nucor is a company specializing in the production of steel and the recycling of scrap metal. It provides $5 million for the project. The school still needs to raise about $2 million.

State Sen. David Johnson, R-Rapid City, helped secure funding for the new building during the 2021 legislative session. He sponsored a invoice to allocate $19 million of public funds to the project. Johnson attended the mining school nearly 4 decades ago and said the geology building was old then.

“The building has had its day. He’s done a good job for over half a century and it’s just about time,” Johnson said. “I’m excited.”

The project is still below its planned cost, which has increased due to inflation. Johnson, who sits on the state appropriations committee, said he would work to secure additional funding.

Construction begins soon and is expected to take two years.

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