Mines News

Release Date Friday, September 30, 2022

Mines Breaks Ground on Nucor Mineral Industries Building

An architectural rendering of the Nucor Mineral Industries Building on the Mines campus. Construction on the facility will soon be underway.

South Dakota Mines has completed a historic groundbreaking for the Nucor Mineral Industries Building. The building will be a hub for the geology, geological engineering, mining engineering and metallurgical engineering programs. The facility will provide state-of-the-art teaching and research spaces for these core disciplines.

The building is being constructed thanks to both public and private funding. The two largest partners include the state of South Dakota, which provided $19 million, and  Nucor, which provided an additional $5 million. Nucor is the largest recycler and domestic steel producer in North America with the broadest and most diversified offerings in the U.S. market. The total estimated project cost for the new facility was originally $34 million. Rising construction costs have increased that to $41.8 million. The university is committing $6.8 million to the project. The South Dakota Mines Center for Alumni Relations & Advancement (CARA) is raising a final $2.5 million in private funding for the building, bringing in a total of $12 million in private investment.

“This investment, from public and private sources, will pay huge returns in the coming decades,” says Mines President Jim Rankin, Ph.D., P.E. “Work in the Nucor Mineral Industries Building will yield both high-tech solutions to modern problems and top-tier engineers and scientists who can lead the charge into a bright future.”

Groundbreaking South Dakota Mines is one of a small number of universities in the United States to have all three mineral industry disciplines: geology and geological engineering, mining engineering and management, and materials and metallurgical engineering. This multidisciplinary combination has a history of creating innovation and advancements that benefit society. Research in these disciplines also has a proven record of attracting high-tech employers to the Black Hills area. Furthermore, the innovation in this facility will continue spur creation of new high-tech companies and economic development in the Black Hills, because these departments are actively engaged in groundbreaking research and innovation.

The Department of Mining Engineering and Management

The Department of Mining Engineering and Management is leading research to both increase environmental stewardship and catalyze economic development opportunities in the region. The department is home to the Mining Hub, a multidisciplinary entity that leverages public-private partnerships to explore cutting-edge technology such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, robotic mining and a new era of environmentally-sustainable mining practices that help America secure the mineral resources it needs to flourish.

Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering

The Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering is leading the creation of new and innovative products and manufacturing methods from mined and recycled minerals with innovative research funded by private industry, NASA, the DoD and the National Science Foundation. The department is also home to the new Arts + Engineering Program that includes hands-on instruction from local artists in pottery, glass making and blacksmithing, alongside classroom lectures that tie in science and engineering concepts used in art creation.

Department of Geology and Geological Engineering

The Department of Geology and Geological Engineering is leading a wide range of research efforts to understand the earth’s deep history; study and mitigate geologic hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides; and locate resources and reserves, protect water, and preserve and explore the region’s vast paleontological resources. In one unique project, Mines faculty and students are assisting with a study at the Sanford Underground Research Facility that could revolutionize the future of energy by tapping the massive well of geothermal heat deep inside the earth.

Construction will soon be underway and is expected to take place over the next two years. The building will be located between the university Physics and Electrical Engineering Building and the Classroom Building and will take up one part of the campus Quad. Once complete, the old Mineral Industries Building on campus will be demolished, creating more space in the center of campus.

Nucor Location 1


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu