Timeline of [South Dakota] Edgemont’s uranium industry – by Seth Tupper (Rapid City Journal – October 26, 2015)


Here is a look back at the timing of key events in the history of the Edgemont uranium mining industry:

1951: Uranium deposits are discovered in a canyon wall near Edgemont.

1952: The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission opens an ore sampling and buying station in Edgemont, one of many Western sites where the federal government buys uranium to fuel its growing stockpile of nuclear weapons.

1953: The Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad reorganizes and emerges as a subsidiary of a new holding company, Susquehanna Corporation, which will soon come to dominate Edgemont’s uranium industry.

1955: Mines Development Inc., a subsidiary of Susquehanna Corp., builds a uranium mill in Edgemont.

1960: Edgemont’s population hits 1,772, a 53 percent increase from 1950.

1971: The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission ends its uranium buying program.

1972: Operations cease at the Edgemont uranium mill.

1974: Susquehanna Corp. subsidiary Mines Development Inc. sells the Edgemont mill and associated mineral rights to the Tennessee Valley Authority for $6 million. The TVA hopes to mine uranium for a planned expansion of nuclear power generation but never reopens the Edgemont mines or mill.

1975: Susquehanna Western Inc., which had operated uranium mines near Edgemont, is sold by its parent company Susquehanna Corp. to Solution Engineering Inc. for $9.76 million.

1978: Congress passes and President Jimmy Carter signs the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act, which tasks the U.S. Department of Energy with cleaning up mill waste, known as “tailings,” and other contaminated material at uranium processing sites including the Edgemont mill.

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