Located in southern Lancaster County, South Carolina, the Haile Gold Mine was one of the first operating gold mines in the United States. The mine was discovered in 1827 by Benjamin Haile, long before the gold rush of California, and has been operated on and off for nearly 200 years.
Today, the Haile Gold Mine is owned by Haile Gold Mine, Inc. (a subsidiary of OceanaGold), a multinational, mid-tier gold mining and exploration company.The Haile Gold Mine, Haile Gold Mine, Inc., and OceanaGold's U.S. headquarters are all located at: 6911 Snowy Owl Road, Kershaw, SC 29067.
OceanaGold is registered in Canada. Toronto is the center of the mining industry worldwide and Canadian companies can participate in that country's stock exchange.
OceanaGold's CEO and most of its leadership team are based in Australia, however most of the employees and contractors at Haile Gold Mine are from the United States and reside in South Carolina. The project is led by professionals who have decades of experience working on mines in various parts of the world.
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Utilizing what company executives deem "the most advanced technology and mining techniques," they have invested over $380 million to build the mine. An economic impact statement conducted by independent economists with the University of South Carolina/Moore School of Business, has calculated that Haile Gold Mine generates approximately $70 million annually in direct and indirect revenue for South Carolina.
The Haile team has spent more than $15 million on environmental projects and municipal infrastructure upgrades, and has already employed environmental policies and practices that they say "go beyond regulatory requirements - and the standards of most mining companies - to preserve and restore wetlands damaged by previous mining operations." Their Heelsplitter Project is a special on-going project between Haile Gold Mine and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to restore an endangered species local to the Carolinas.
Haile and OceanaGold have already actively invested in South Carolina communities and have held several local events and hosted many organizations at their facilities.
Haile Gold Mine Timeline of Events:
- 1827: First discovery of gold by Captain Benjamin Haile.
- 1827 - 1975: Periodic mining of the Haile site by various operators.
- Oct 30, 1975: First permit (I-000214) issued by the state of South Carolina to mine Hilltop Pit.
- Jul 16, 1979: Second permit (I-000440) issued by the state of South Carolina.
- Jul 03, 1984: Third permit (I-000601) issued by the state of South Carolina to mine Haile Pit.
- Oct 16, 2002: Permit I-000214 modified to add Hilltop II Pit.
- Oct 16, 2007: Permit I-000601 was transferred to Haile Gold Mine, Inc. (a subsidiary of Romarco Minerals).
- Dec 14, 2007: Permit I-000214 modified to add 3.5ac to permit.
- Apr 13, 2010: Permit I-000214 transferred to Haile Gold Mine, Inc. and incorporated into permit I-000601.
- Apr 16, 2010: Permit I-000440 transferred to Haile Gold Mine, Inc. and incorporated into permit I-000601 (henceforth known as “Mine Permit”).
- Nov 06, 2014: Mine Permit was modified to expand permitted acreage and reopen operations.
- 2015: OceanaGold merges with Romarco Minerals, acquiring Haile Gold Mine, Inc. and assuming operations.
- Jun 07, 2016: Mine Permit was modified to further expand permitted acreage, relocate the administration building, and widen the run-of-mine (ROM) pad.
- Jan 19, 2017: Production officially begins with the pouring of the first doré bar.
- Jun 01, 2018: Mine Permit was modified to reallocate affected acreages at the Ledbetter site.
- Aug 22, 2018: Mine Permit was modified to reallocate affected acreages at the old parking lot area.
- Jun 18, 2019: Received an application to substantially modify the Mine Permit. The review of the application is currently on-going.
In 2019/2020, DHEC will:
- Continue reviewing applications to modify permits.
- Assist the USACE in identifying issues of concern and providing meaningful and timely comment and input throughout the NEPA process.
- At the appropriate time, initiate a public notice of this modification.
- At the appropriate time, conduct a public hearing regarding this modification and the SEIS.