The National Science Foundation has selected a South Dakota site as best for a possible underground physics laboratory, rejecting a Mount San Jacinto site, according to the foundation.

“The panel, after extensive deliberations, unanimously concluded that the Homestake Mine was, by far, the most favorable site,” the foundation’s physics division director, Joseph Dehmer, wrote in a letter Friday.

The decision does not mean the deep underground laboratory will be built. But the foundation said the geology of Homestake Mine, a closed gold mine in Lead, S.D., is better than two other alternatives, one of them proposed in a tunnel to be dug under Mount San Jacinto from near Palm Springs. The South Dakota site would be cheaper to convert.
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