Distribution of South Dakota Mining Towns
The historic mining districts of South Dakota are located in the Black Hills area in the western part of the state. Despite the limited geographical extent, the historical importance of this area can not be overstated. The Lead district was the largest gold producer in the nation.
According to the 1968 USGS publication Principal Gold Producing Districts of the United States, only Lawrence and Pennington counties have significant gold districts with over 10,000 ounces in gold production. The vast majority of gold mined in the Black Hills came from the districts around Lead and Deadwood, with the Homestake mine at Lead being the top producer.
While the Black Hills are known for gold, many other commodities have been mined here. Tin has been mined in significant quantities. Silver, lead, and non-metallic industrial minerals have also been important commodities from the region’s more than 1,000 mines.
Mining in the Black Hills
Western Mining History Member's Journal Volume 5: "Mining in the Black Hills", takes a closer look at the distribution of mining districts and towns the Black Hills of South Dakota.