RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – An improved price for gold is generating new interest in drilling in the Black Hills of South Dakota. At least five companies are currently drilling, or hope to be searching for gold.

After being below $1,400 per ounce for several years, the price for gold has climbed above that level in recent months.

F3 Gold, of Minneapolis, is funding an environmental assessment it hopes will lead to approval of its plan to drill on Black Hills Forest Service land near Silver City.

Another factor driving exploration interest in the Black Hills is its well-known history as a gold-producing region.