There’s little chance that mining could be causing the recent earthquakes that have shaken the Midlands, some South Carolina officials say.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says the mines it has permitted around Elgin, which has been near the epicenters of the recent earthquakes, aren’t deep enough to cause any problems.
“Currently, DHEC-permitted mine sites in the Elgin area are surface pits, and the majority of them are 30 feet or less in depth,” the DHEC posted on its Facebook page. “Their shallowness would not be expected to contribute to seismic activity, especially with the recent earthquakes in the Elgin area being recorded at 6,336 to 12,672 feet deep, per the U.S. Geological Survey.”
Elgin and parts of South Carolina have been rocked by a wave of earthquakes in recent weeks, the epicenters of which have been near the small town, which is on the northeastern outskirts of Columbia.
The latest quakes hit the area on Wednesday.
The United States Geological Survey confirmed that a magnitude 3.5 earthquake shook parts of the Midlands just before 3 p.m. Wednesday. The earthquake was centered 3 miles east of Elgin, at 2:43 p.m.
Another quake measuring 3.6 in magnitude was recorded about 7:00 p.m. Wednesday. That quake occurred just under 4 miles east of Elgin.
To date, no damage has been reported.
DHEC added that even the deepest permitted mine site, at 900 feet, doesn’t come close to the depth of the recent earthquakes.
“And it is 75 miles away from Elgin,” DHEC wrote.