South Carolina gold rush? Possible BILLIONS of dollars in gold sparks discussion of mine expansion

State - Regional

KERSHAW, S.C. (AP) – Potentially rich deposits of gold in South Carolina are fueling a proposed expansion of a huge mine that has some excited about the prospect of 250 new jobs in a tiny community halfway between Columbia and Charlotte.

OceanaGold’s expansion plan says the Australia-based company would increase its existing 4,552-acre (1842 hectare) Haile Gold Mine site by more than 900 acres (364 hectares) near Kershaw. According to plans filed with the state, the company is seeking to dig an underground mine that would extend up to 1,314 feet (400.5 meters) below the surface.

Haile is the largest open-pit gold mining operation in the eastern United States. The South Carolina mine cranked up about three years ago.

The State reports the proposed project still needs approval from federal and state environmental regulators.

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