Sanford Lab is located at the former Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, S.D. Until its closure in 2002, Homestake was the largest and deepest gold mine in North America, producing approximately 41 million ounces of gold in its 126-year lifetime. Following the mine’s closure, Barrick Gold Corporation, which owned the mine, agreed to continue dewatering as negotiations to develop a deep underground science laboratory proceeded. But as progress slowed and dewatering and maintenance costs increased, Barrick turned off the pumps.
Impact and History
For 125 years, Homestake delved deep for gold. In 2006, the mine became a dedicated research facility where scientists probe the depths of space to learn more about our place in the universe.