Our newsletter archive is now searchable by subject. Click on any article to read it, or search by topic in the search bar.

Donlin Gold Answers Bethel’s Request For Help

November/December 2016

Bethel is experiencing a growing number of emergency care calls, but with an aging fleet of emergency vehicles, emergency personnel have struggled to respond to the influx. In an effort to improve emergency services to the community, the Bethel Fire Department launched a fundraising initiative last spring to purchase a new ambulance.

Recognizing the necessity of an additional emergency response vehicle in Bethel, Donlin Gold, along with other local organizations, was pleased to contribute toward the new ambulance. “Donlin Gold’s support of this important emergency response initiative in Bethel is consistent with our company’s focus on health and safety for both our employees and communities in the YK region,” said Stan Foo, general manager of Donlin Gold.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, Bethel Lions Club and numerous local businesses were also generous contributors to the new ambulance initiative. As were many concerned community members.

Donlin Gold is committed to safety, and is pleased to work with communities to ensure this commitment is carried out throughout the YK region.


November/December 2016

2016 was another busy year for Donlin Gold, with involvement in numerous events and activities throughout the year. The community relations team at Donlin Gold held project update meetings in nearly 30 villages during the year, and were also involved in events, activities and programs to support education, training, health & safety, youth, sporting events, as well as arts and culture in the YK region:

  • Distributing buckets filled with safety gear and life vests in the YK region,
    while educating communities on water safety
  • Sponsoring Excel Alaska’s Academic Decathlon and other programs
  • Supporting the Drew’s Foundation Winter Bear Festival
  • Supporting Search and Rescue programs
  • Supporting the K300 sled dog race
  • Supporting the Elder Mentors program of bringing elders into the schools
    to support student learning
  • Participating in multiple regional summer festivals and fairs
  • Participating in Clean Up Green Up initiatives in nearly every YK village
  • Sponsoring both AFN and the Elders & Youth Conference
  • Supporting Summer intern programs
  • Hosting the Bethel Clothing Extravaganza
  • Cheering on mushers and offering support during the Iditarod
  • Sponsoring the Donlin Gold Classic Basketball Tournament
  • Supporting the Best in the West Small Business Competition
  • Providing support for Calista and TKC scholarship programs

Donlin Gold is committed to being a good neighbor to the YK region, and is grateful for all the participation and connections employees continue to make with community residents. Donlin Gold appreciates the opportunity to serve in various capacities throughout the YK region and looks forward to further engagement in 2017.

Quyana for another great year.

Keeping The Community Warm

November/December 2016

It was another year of success for Donlin Gold’s annual Bethel Clothing Extravaganza, which took place September 23rd at the Mikelnguut Elitnaurviat (ME) school gym. This ninth annual event welcomed over 100 people, who acquired gently-used clothing and clean winter coats, including hats, gloves and boots for the
cold months ahead.

Clothing for the event was collected by Donlin Gold staff from lost and found boxes donated by participating Anchorage schools. After sanitizing the donated items, they were packed into 40 boxes and shipped to Bethel with the generous help of Donlin Gold partner, Ryan Air. Clothes were then laid out by ME school staff and Donlin Gold community relations staff, who helped prepare the event.

Rooted in the success of the Bethel Clothing Extravaganza is Calista Geologist, and founder of the extravaganza, Tisha Woolley. “I had heard stories of children coming to school without the appropriate clothing for winter, so when a colleague of mine didn’t know where to donate all the clothes she had collected from her school’s lost and found, I got an idea,” Woolley recalled.

“My father was the principal of Mikelgnuut Elitnaurviat School at the time, so I called him, and we both agreed it was a great idea to host an event to provide students and parents with donated items free of charge,” says Woolley.

The amount of clothing donated to the clothing extravaganza has increased throughout the years, meaning more and more residents have warm gear for the winter. Donlin Gold is pleased to see its employees involved in making a difference in the YK community and looks forward to supporting another successful Bethel Clothing Extravaganza.

AFN: Celebrating 50 Years of Progress

November/December 2016

As in years past, Donlin Gold was present at the Alaska Native Federation (AFN) convention and the preceding Elders & Youth Conference that took place in October in Fairbanks, AK. Greeting visitors at the Donlin Gold booth were staff members Colleen Laraux, Vernon Chimegalrea, Danny Twitchell and Kurt Parkan, who took part in providing information on the Donlin Gold project and were on hand to answer questions about the potential mine.

AFN is one of Alaska’s most popular and well-attended events, bringing together residents of villages and communities from across the vast state to address important social topics. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, this year’s theme “Reflect, Refresh, Renew”, exemplified this significance and encouraged attendees to focus on both the challenges and successes within the Native community over the last 50 years.

Donlin Gold is happy to support this progressive event that empowers the Native community and offers positive discussions and solutions for the future. Furthermore, Donlin Gold is committed to transparent operations, and is happy to have the opportunity to answer questions and inform attendees on the details of the project and its progress.

To everyone that organized, supported or attended this inspiring event, Quyana. Donlin Gold will see you next year at the 2017 AFN conference.

Farewell and Welcome

November/December 2016

Donlin Gold has a new General Manager. Last month, the owners of Donlin Gold, Barrick Gold Corporation and NOVAGOLD RESOURCES, announced the appointment of Andy Cole as the new General Manager of the Donlin Gold project. Changes in leadership are common in the mining industry during different phases of a project.

Donlin Gold’s entire team offers a heartfelt farewell to outgoing General Manager, Stan Foo. His 12 years of dedication to the advancement of the project have been key in preparing Donlin Gold for permitting and potential construction. But more than that, he has been active in the region and a friend to many of us. We wish Stan success in his next venture.

Andy Cole has more than 20 years of experience in permitting, building and operating major gold mines in North America and intends to continue to strengthen the precedents set by Stan as he eases into his new role, “The project has a track record of engineering excellence and a strong culture of safety, environmental stewardship and community engagement, all values that will remain constant.”

With a focus on maximizing the long-term value of the project for all stakeholders, we welcome Andy Cole as the new General Manager of the Donlin Gold project.


November/December 2016

As we wrap up 2016, we reflect on a significant year of progress for the Donlin Gold project. At the end of 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released the Donlin Gold draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the public, subsequently kicking off a six-month-long public comment period which closed at the end of May 2016. Comments were received through the website, in writing, and in-person during public meetings that were held in 16 villages in the YK Region and Anchorage.

During the public comment period, community members submitted opinions, concerns and questions regarding the Donlin Gold project, all of which were recorded by the Corps and will be taken into consideration in drafting the final EIS. With over 60 percent of the written comments expressing positive statements regarding the project, Donlin Gold is highly appreciative of the support.

Donlin Gold is pleased to see the progress of this unique project, which has the potential to bring new jobs and opportunities to the YK Region, as it continues to move toward construction and operation. The company values responsible development and as a result has spent over 20 years preparing, researching and conducting environmental baseline studies to ensure a thoughtful, environmentally responsible project. The Donlin Gold
project will use state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and is projected to offer up to 3,000 jobs during construction and between 600 and 1,200 jobs during operation of the mine’s anticipated mine life of more than 27 years.

Moving into the new year, Donlin Gold will continue to provide support to the Corps as they work toward developing the final EIS, which is expected to be released in early 2018. Should the necessary permits be obtained, the owners of Donlin Gold would then make a construction decision on the project.

While Donlin Gold prepares for the next phase of development, we encourage anyone interested in joining the Donlin Gold workforce to ensure they receive the necessary training and/or education for the position they are most interested in. Preparing for a career with Donlin Gold will not only increase the likelihood of being hired by the mining company or contracting company, but will also increase chances of being hired for other industry professions.

To learn more about potential jobs at Donlin Gold, visit
www. DonlinGold.com

Saying Farewell to Sue Gamache

( Sept/Oct 2016 )

On June 2, 2016, Donlin Gold said goodbye to Sue Gamache as she begins her new journey into retirement. Sue worked for Donlin Gold as community relations coordinator for five years, and was loved both by the staff at Donlin Gold, as well as the many YK residents she got to know over the years in her role.

With a formal education in journalism/ photography and communications, Sue wore many hats during her years at Donlin Gold. Her work encompassed managing donation programs, social media coordination, informing stakeholders about the project and answering their questions, and involvement at many exhibitor events. If you did not meet Sue at one of the many events she attended, you might have seen her on the Iditarod and Iron Dog trails, as she worked closely with the two organizations.

Sue says her favorite part of her role with Donlin Gold was the interaction with stakeholders and organizations, and learning about permitting, mining and workforce development. Sue also says she will never forget the joy of traveling throughout the YK region.

“I loved the smell of stepping onto the planes, interacting with pilots, and learning about families living in the region,” said Sue. “Learning the history and geography of the region and about the people who live there was an experience I’m grateful for.” Prior to her time with Donlin Gold, Sue worked at Calista Corporation for 28 years. “That’s a lot of commitment and signed timesheets,” said Sue.

Sue says that she will miss her time at Donlin Gold and the adventures and experiences that came with it, but after 33 years of employment, she is ready to sit back and take life as it comes. “I am pleasantly surprised how easy it has been to adjust to retirement,” said Sue.

Sue is already enjoying not setting her alarm. She also loves having more time with her retired husband, Jim Fitzmaurice, and her two-year-old great-niece.

While she is enjoying more leisurely days, Sue hopes to see the Donlin Gold mine receive the necessary permits so that others have the opportunity to work for the company. “During my time with Donlin Gold, I had many young people come to event booths stating they wanted opportunities to go to school and work for Donlin Gold, and be able to stay in the YK region and raise a family,” said Sue.

Sue Gamache was an invaluable asset to the team. The staff at Donlin Gold thanks her for her time and sends her well-wishes as she enters her new chapter in life.

Quyana Sue.


( Sept/Oct 2016 )

Once Donlin Gold receives the necessary permits, the company will be in a position to make a decision on construction. During the anticipated three- to four-year construction phase of the project, up to 3,000 jobs will be available, with as many as 1,200 jobs available during the mine’s expected 27 years or more of operation, with hiring preferences to TKC and Calista shareholders and descendants.

Donlin Gold jobs will offer competitive salaries with benefits, and will uphold stringent safety standards at all worksites. Right now is the time to make sure you are prepared for the significant increase in career opportunities by pursuing the necessary education and skills training. The Donlin Gold mine will create a variety of jobs to be filled, with some only requiring a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED), and others requiring a specific college degree or training, or relevant job experience.

By ensuring you meet the job requirements for the career you choose before Donlin Gold begins hiring, you increase your hiring eligibility. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider your interests and where you see yourself working in the future. It is also important to understand the job requirements of your career choice and Donlin Gold’s employee expectations.

Those who meet all employee expectations are the most eligible candidates for hire. Preparing for a career with Donlin Gold will not only increase the likelihood of being hired by the mining company or contracting companies, but also increases your chances of being hired for other industry professions.

With the support of Donlin Gold, Northern Industrial Training (NIT) has been awarded a state grant to assist eligible participants in gaining experience for potential employment. The State Training and Employment Program (STEP) grant assists the future workforce in self-motivation, setting realistic goals and gaining employable skills that give those applying for a career a competitive edge. Eligible programs include: professional truck driving, construction equipment training, welding and welding testing, and project management. For more information about this training opportunity, contact NIT at 907-357-6400 or www.nitalaska.com.

To learn more about jobs, expectations, what you can do to increase your eligibility, and programs available to assist you in gaining workforce skills, read the Donlin Gold jobs booklet, available on the homepage at www.DonlinGold.com.

Supporting Intern Success

( Sept/Oct 2016 )

Donlin Gold is working toward enriching the lives of youth by supporting scholastic and technical skills opportunities. One of the ways Donlin Gold is paving the way for more educational opportunities in Alaska is through supporting educational programs such as EXCEL Alaska. EXCEL is a program that partners with the Kuspuk School District to help develop employability skills for students in the YK region.

From May 23 to June 6, 2016, EXCEL students participated in the Mining and Petroleum Training Service (MAPTS) University of Alaska program. MAPTS was founded in 1979 and provides health, safety and environmental training for industries in Alaska. Since its inception, MAPTS has trained over 100,000 individuals statewide, and has the largest enrollment of any similar program in North America. One of MAPTS’ focus areas in their training programs is mine safety.

Participating students in the MAPTS summer program were Walter Lee and Cally Phillips, of Aniak, Keisha Edmund, of Alakanuk, Jeffery Liskey, of Tuluksak, Johnny Beans and Nicholas Kelly, of Pilot Station, Miranda Bell and Diana Murran, of Hooper Bay, Russell Evan, of Marshall, and Tristan Flynn, of Scammon Bay. To take part in the program, students must have met a list of prerequisites, including completion of other EXCEL Alaska sessions with a recommendation from the program, obtaining a high school diploma, passing a drug test, having a valid driver’s license and being at least 18 years of age. Donlin Gold and Calista were pleased to co-sponsor the MAPTS training for Calista shareholders.

Students who qualified to participate in the program learned basic first aid and CPR, mining terminology, communication techniques, signaling, equipment inspection processes and mine duties that encompass a surface mine operator’s role.

During training, students also had the opportunity to operate ThoroughTec simulators, a technology developed for the mining industry to optimize performance of heavy equipment operated by the workforce. Students were taught a demanding set of criteria, preparing them to act safely, alert and with a high level of confidence as a surface mine operator. They then moved on to operating heavy equipment, which included a challenging driving track arena that required a high level of attention to surroundings. In addition, students learned radio skills and signals to communicate effectively and safely with other operators, vendors and persons.

This real-life influenced curriculum not only teaches students critical technical skills required for an entry-level position, but also provides them with confidence to develop a lifelong career.

Upon graduation from the MAPTS program, students were placed in internships to apply their newly-gained knowledge. In alignment with Donlin Gold’s efforts to develop a skilled workforce, internships were sponsored by Donlin Gold, helping cover the cost of wages, transportation, housing and meals.

Donlin Gold is happy to provide monetary assistance to organizations and programs designed to enhance education and technical skills. In addition to the EXCEL program and internships, Donlin Gold also sponsors scholarship programs through Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation, as well as other scholastic and training opportunities.

If the project receives the necessary permits and moves into construction and production, Donlin Gold could provide up to 3,000 jobs during construction, and up to 1,200 jobs during its 27 years or more in operation. During this time, Donlin Gold will require an ample, prepared workforce to fill the thousands of high-paying careers offered. Donlin Gold encourages you to explore training resources in your area now and ensure you are eligible for the future workforce.

Summer Safety in the Region

( Sept/Oct 2016 )

To lend support to our motto, “Everyone going home safe and healthy every day,” members of Donlin Gold’s community relations team, Wayne Morgan, Colleen Laraux and Vernon Chimegalrea, took to the water during the summer of 2016 to reach residents in a meaningful way. As part of Donlin Gold’s Summer Safety Program, the team delivered multi-use buckets with a summer safety checklist, life vests and other useful summer subsistence items. This is our fifth year with the program, and to date we have distributed approximately 6,000 life vests to the region.

Donlin Gold is committed to the safety of our employees, while also promoting the overall health and safety of residents in the YK region.