GATE CITY — U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., has announced an $80,000 federal grant that could be the first step in converting an abandoned limestone mine into an underground secure data center.
Boucher said the grant, which was made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency, would allow the Scott County Economic Development Authority to commission a study of the conversion’s feasibility.
“The study is the first key step in determining if the mine could qualify for a high-end commercial use,” Boucher said in a press release.
The study will assess the stability of a former limestone mine located between Duffield and Natural Tunnel in the Sunbrite area.
The mine dates back to 1953.
Boucher said the project would help drive economic growth in the region if it’s determined to be feasible.
“Data centers offer the opportunity for large capital investment and can bring high-paying jobs to our region,” Boucher said. “I am pleased that the Rural Development Agency has provided the funds to complete the first step toward converting the former Scott County mine into a state-of-the-art data center.”