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.

READ MORE: Good Question: How Does Salt Melt Ice?

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.

READ MORE: Wisconsin Health Facilities Request Federal Help For Staff And Hospitals

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

MORE NEWS: Hennepin Co. Sheriff David Hutchinson Investigated For Potential DWI

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)