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( Sept/Oct 2016 )

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) held a six-month-long public comment period on the Donlin Gold project, beginning in November 2015 and ending on May 31, 2016. The public comment period is an important part of the process of drafting the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS will help determine whether the Donlin Gold project receives the necessary environmental permits to move forward into the construction and production phases.

All comments received during the sixmonth period are being reviewed by the Corps. Approximately 540 written comments were submitted, with around 60% of them containing positive comments on the Donlin Gold project. Donlin Gold greatly appreciates the feedback and participation during the Corps’ public comment period, as the comments help shape not only the future of the project, but the future of the YK region. The Corps will review all public comments and include a response to raised issues and concerns in the final EIS.

Currently, the final EIS is expected to be released in late 2017. Until then, the Corps will continue to work with the cooperating agencies to modify and update the EIS as a result of the submitted comments. While Donlin Gold provides support in the permitting process, by responding to the Corps’ requests for additional information, the company will continue regional outreach to answer any questions or comments the public may have, including informative village meetings. We look forward to operating a project that is beneficial to the YK region and the state of Alaska. Donlin Gold is committed to an environmentally responsible development with state-of-the-art equipment and a comprehensive plan. To find out more on the benefits of the project, please visit www.DonlinGold.com.

Special Edition

(May/June 2016)

The DEIS public comment period on the Donlin Gold project has been extended.

The last day to comment is now May 31.

Materials are included to help you give your testimony. Download PDF

We appreciate all of the comments that have been submitted thus far. Thank you to all of the project supporters.


Donlin Gold could provide up to 3,000 jobs during construction, and between 600 and 1,200 during its 27+ years in operation.

Donlin Gold is committed to Alaska hire, with priority  given to qualified TKC and Calista shareholders and their family members, in addition to residents from the YK region.

Donlin Gold will support organizations that offer job skills and training for a prepared workforce.

At this critical time for the State of Alaska’s economy, Donlin Gold offers an important opportunity to diversify Alaska’s economy and provide jobs in an economically challenged area of the state.

Additionally, through partnerships and third party affiliations, the project would indirectly support many other firms and sectors that supply mining operations with goods and services.

Through the culmination of 20 years of extensive exploration, development and environmental baseline studies, Donlin Gold designed a project that is compatible with residents’ subsistence way of life while providing opportunities to enhance it. New jobs will allow for more residents to remain in the YK region, and will assist with the cost of fuel and equipment needed for subsistence activities.

Donlin Gold is dedicated to environmental stewardship, with a commitment in applying proven environmental management practices and monitoring. Environmental studies have been part of the project since exploration began in the mid-1990s to help fulfill Donlin Gold’s commitment to responsible development. For example, to reduce the amount of proposed barge traffic on the Kuskokwim River, a 14-inch, buried, natural gas pipeline has been proposed as the primary source of fuel for the generation of on-site power.

Donlin Gold will implement guidelines for barge operations to minimize the potential for impacts, including adjusting loads to avoid grounding, navigational aids and procedures to closely monitor the river. Additionally, there will be a communication plan between barge operators and river users regarding the schedule and status of barging activity.

Environmental Improvement Projects in your Communities

( March/April 2016 )

For 20 years Donlin Gold has been conducting baseline studies, holding information meetings in villages throughout the region and gathering insight from stakeholders in an effort to develop an environmentally responsible project that addresses concerns of stakeholders.

Part of Donlin Gold’s effort to develop an environmentally responsible project includes taking the necessary steps to minimize impacts to wetlands and water bodies. While Donlin Gold cannot ensure all impacts will be avoided, Donlin Gold can offset potential impacts in several ways, including funding mitigation banks and through permittee-responsible mitigation (PRM) projects.

The methods used to offset impacts from wetlands and waters bodies will be described in Donlin Gold’s Compensatory Mitigation Plan (CMP). Compensatory mitigation is defined as unavoidable impacts from a project that are balanced by providing aquatic resource restoration, establishment, enhancement and in certain circumstances, preservation of wetlands and water bodies.

The people of the YK region have a deep knowledge of their land and are best qualified to identify important environmental issues that are affecting the health of the YK region watershed. Therefore, Donlin Gold is reaching out to communities to identify potential environmental projects that may improve wetlands and water bodies that Donlin Gold could consider funding as a PRM project.

Our current Draft CMP plan identifies four categories of possible PRM projects:

  • Pilot Recycling Plans – Funding for projects that encourage the removal and recycling of derelict goods, and training local residents and government on best practices to operate landfills. Examples of potential projects: provide backhaul support; provide collection containers; provide training for preparing recyclable materials for shipment; etc.
  • Village Sanitation Projects – Funding to improve waste management practices or resolve landfill issues. Examples of potential projects: improve soil cover on abandoned landfills; provide training for separating hazardous waste from municipal waste; support backhaul of hazardous waste; etc.
  • ATV Trail Hardening Projects – Funding to improve degraded trail segments by hardening them using interlocking porous mats type systems; etc.
  • Self-Nominating Projects Using Village Outreach – Funding for environmental projects nominated by local residents that contribute to the health of the Kuskokwim watershed. Examples of potential projects: trail improvements; dock improvements; site clean ups; bulk fuel off-loading improvements; small vessel fueling facilities; fishery and wetlands restoration; etc.

Donlin Gold encourages those who have project suggestions within these categories, or other potential projects in your community, to contact Donlin Gold’s Enric Fernandez. With knowledge of watershed projects that are of top priority to communities, Donlin Gold can potentially incorporate project requests into Donlin Gold’s CMP. The CMP will then be submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for review and approval. Upon approval, Donlin Gold would fund prioritized watershed and water body projects identified as most important in the region.

Donlin Gold encourages communities in the YK region to participate and submit wetland and water body project suggestions to Donlin Gold by May 20, 2016. Suggestions will be accepted after this date, but chances of reviewing the potential project may be limited.

Submit Suggestions or Questions To:
Enric Fernandez
(907) 273-0200

Or mail to:
4720 Business Park Blvd,
Suite G-25,
Anchorage, AK  99503

Donlin Gold looks forward to hearing the YK region’s requests and is committed to responsible development and listening to the voices of the region.

Donlin Gold Project Q&A

( March/April 2016 )

Through the culmination of 20 years of extensive exploration, development and environmental baseline studies, Donlin Gold designed a project that is compatible with residents’ subsistence way of life while providing opportunities to preserve it. Keeping local residents engaged and informed and listening has been a fundamental value of Donlin Gold since the start. Consistent community outreach and involvement has helped shape the project and will continue to ensure a balanced development plan that brings long-lasting benefits to the region while upholding a commitment to responsible development.

In Donlin Gold’s continued efforts to inform stakeholders about the project, we have provided answers in a compilation of commonly asked questions.


How will subsistence be affected?
Since the mid-1990s, Donlin Gold has been conducting sampling and studies on the environment, and has met with residents throughout the YK region in more than 65 villages to listen to and understand their concerns regarding subsistence. In response, Donlin Gold has designed the project to minimize possible impacts to subsistence activities. The following are examples:

• Mine site activities are limited to three drainages in the Crooked Creek watershed. We will monitor air, water and fish to ensure that they meet regulatory agency standards for protection.

• In regards to barging following consultation with community input throughout the region, Donlin Gold incorporated a buried natural gas pipeline into the project design. This reduced the annual diesel barged on the river from 120 million to 80 million gallons.

• With respect to the buried pipeline, the land will be reclaimed such that it should not materially impact the wildlife migration pattern.

• Additionally, the increased household income due to jobs will offset high heat, gas and grocery prices in the villages, as well as provide income to fund the fuel and supplies needed for subsistence activities.


How will fuel and cargo be barged?
Fuel and cargo will be moved using a single tug pushing four combined barges; referred to as a barge-tow. Together, the four barges will be 330 feet long and 88 feet wide. As a comparison, the AK Provider, a barge that was regularly used on the Kuskokwim, is 250 feet long and 70 feet wide. The barges and tugs will be designed for shallow draft, and built specially for use on the Kuskokwim. In addition, the fuel barges will be double-hull design to provide protection against spills. Each fuel barge also will have on-board spill containment equipment.

How many barge-tow trips will occur each day?
Donlin Gold will use approximately one barge-tow per day to transport the cargo, and one barge-tow per day to transport diesel from Bethel up the Kuskokwim River to the Jungjuk port site during the summer shipping season. Less than two ocean barges downriver from Bethel per week will be required.

What will be done to prevent barges from getting stuck?
Each year, the navigation channel will be carefully surveyed and clearly marked. During the shipping season, barge tracking and communication systems will be used to monitor vessel locations. Monitoring systems will also be put in place to forecast water depth. Barges will only be loaded to the draft available on the river at the time of the trip.

What is the process if a barge gets stuck?
1. Separate and secure the barges still afloat.
2. Evaluate river conditions and see if rising water will float the stranded barge.
3. If not, and the conditions are suitable, attempt to pull the stranded barge free.
4. If this is not an option, bring in an empty barge and transfer enough cargo to refloat the barge.

What will be done to prevent conflicts between barges and fishing?
A communication program will be developed to keep communities informed of the schedule and status of barging activities. Barge operators will be trained to observe and communicate with river users to avoid displacement of subsistence fishing.


How many ports are involved and where are they located?
The project would have two ports, one located 30 miles from the project site, at Angyaruaq (Jungiuk), and the other located near Bethel. The Bethel port is located in an area already used for industrial activity.

Why has a pipeline been proposed?
To reduce the amount of diesel barge traffic on the Kuskokwim River, a 14-inch diameter, 315-mile-long, buried natural gas pipeline is proposed as the primary source of fuel for the generation of power at the mine site. Natural gas is environmentally cleaner burning than diesel.

What impact will the pipeline have on the Iditarod trail?
Very little, as the pipeline route was designed to minimize impacts to the Iditarod trail. The pipeline will be buried and would be in the same location as the Iditarod trail for less than five miles.

What infrastructure would be necessary to build a pipeline?
Roads and stream or river crossings and pipeline storage yards would be necessary during pipeline construction. These features would be temporary and would be reclaimed once construction of the pipeline is complete.

Can others access natural gas from the pipeline?
The pipeline is what is considered “open access” meaning that other users can bring gas through it. Donlin Gold will only use about 50 percent of the pipeline’s capacity for its use.

How will the pipeline be monitored?
Monitoring, inspection and maintenance via helicopter access, cathodic protection and state-of-the-art leak detection systems will all be used. Regular inspections include the use of “smart pigs” which are machines that are placed into and moved through the pipeline and have sensors that can detect abnormal conditions that require attention. For Donlin Gold’s pipeline, check valves would be located a minimum of every 20 miles. Among the advantages of a natural gas pipeline relative to a diesel or petroleum product pipeline, is the fact that in the very unlikely event of a rupture, natural gas rapidly dissipates into the air, unlike petroleum products, which remain in soil and water until cleaned up.


How will Donlin Gold reduce possible mercury air emissions?
At the Donlin Gold mine, mercury air emissions released during the milling process would be captured at multiple points. Donlin Gold would install and operate state-of-the-art mercury emission controls to capture mercury before it is released and to ensure that air emissions are well below EPA standards for mercury. Captured mercury would be contained in specially designed containers and shipped off-site to a federally regulated facility.

How will cyanide be handled?
The Donlin Gold project is designed to comply with the state and federal regulations and the International Cyanide Management Code, which covers the production, transport, storage and use of cyanide as well as the decommissioning of cyanide facilities. Dry sodium-cyanide briquettes will be shipped to the mine site in sealed steel tanks that represent state-of-the-industry practice. The cyanide will be dissolved into solution at very low concentrations for use in gold extraction from the ore inside the mill building. The tailings from gold extraction will be detoxified to reduce the amount of cyanide. Any trace amounts of cyanide left in the tailings would breakdown further under natural conditions.

What is the likelihood of a cyanide spill?
The likelihood of a cyanide spill is very low, as the sodium cyanide would be transported as solid briquettes and in specially designed containers and its use will be contained entirely within the secure mill facility. Donlin Gold’s cyanide management will be subject to audit on a periodic basis with findings available for public review.

What has Donlin Gold done in an effort to monitor water quality?
Donlin Gold has gathered surface water quality data from 2003 and 2014. The data has been submitted to the regulatory agencies and is available for review.

What measurements will be taken to reduce possible water contamination?
Surface waters will be diverted around the mine site to the extent possible to avoid contact with mined material. Any water that does come into contact with mine facilities would be stored on site and used in the milling process or treated with a state of the art water treatment plant to meet regulated water quality standards protective of humans and fish. The treated water will be discharged in the summer to Crooked Creek

What precautions have been taken to implement a strong and safe tailings dam?
• The dam is designed to withstand earthquakes, meeting or exceeding Alaska Dam Safety Program and federal agency safety factors and guidelines. The design is based on the expected impacts of the maximum potential earthquake in the region. This information was determined by documenting all of the faults in the area and the actual occurrence of historical earthquakes in Alaska. We also looked at how similar dams have actually been affected by the full range of potential earthquake conditions.
• The dam footprint will be excavated to bedrock and the dam itself will be constructed of rockfill.
• The dam will be constructed via downstream construction methods. Downstream dams are considered the most stable and are considered the most suitable in seismically active areas, as well as the most suitable for retaining water.
• The plan for removing water from the tailings storage facility at the end of the mine’s life minimizes the long-term risks.
• The dam will be regularly inspected and monitored for safety and stability.  Independent, third-party engineering reviews will also be conducted regularly.

What will Donlin Gold do to reclaim the land once the mine is no longer in operation?
Upon completion of mining activity, the buildings and equipment would be taken apart and removed. The waste rock facility and tailings storage facility would be covered and re-vegetated. The pit would begin to fill over a long period of time; approximately 50 years. The water quality would be monitored and pit water would be treated in a water treatment plant to meet water quality standards before it is discharged.

Financial assurance will be proposed by Donlin Gold and approved by the state prior to the commencement of construction to ensure that funds are in place to reclaim the land and treat water following the operating period. The financial estimates on which the assurance is based are reviewed at a minimum of every five years to ensure that the financial assurance continues to be sufficient. Monitoring will continue post-closure to ensure that all environmental standards are met.

How would construction in the area affect fish populations?
Best management practices (BMPs) to minimize erosion and protect water quality and fish habitat would be put in place to prevent impacts to fish populations in the Crooked Creek area from mine construction and operation. Similarly BMPs would be used during construction of the port, road and pipeline.


How many will be employed at Donlin Gold?
It is estimated Donlin Gold will provide up to 3,000 jobs during the three-to-four-year construction period, and between 600 to 1,200 jobs during its 27-year mine life.

Who has hiring priority?
Agreements between The Kuskokwim Corporation and Calista Corporation allot shareholders and descendants hiring preference. Donlin Gold is also committed to local hire, with a history of a 90 percent onsite Calista shareholder and descendent workforce.

If you have additional questions, Donlin Gold encourages you to attend our informational meetings hosted throughout the year across the YK region. You can also submit questions or comments at www.DonlinGold.com/contact-us.

More information about the project, including an informative executive summary of the draft environmental impact statement, is available at www.DonlinGoldEIS.com.

Supporting the Last Great Race

( March/April 2016 )

In the early 1900’s, dog teams were the main source of transportation for miners to access Alaska’s gold fields. At one point in 1910, the village not far from the Donlin Gold project became the largest in Alaska, with 10,000 gold prospectors. These prospectors would reach the goldfields by dog sled, following the route that is now the historic Iditarod trail. Now every March, mushers competing in the Last Great Race honor Alaska’s mushing history, while traversing more than 1,000 miles of
Alaska’s landscape.

Donlin Gold supports the Last Great Race as a Principal Sponsor, recognizing the significance and connection to this historic event and its racers , a number of which are from the YK region. Not only does Donlin Gold serve as a source of support for the race itself, but also for two Yukon Kuskokwim regional mushers: Pete Kaiser of Bethel and Mike Williams Jr. of Akiak.

Many Donlin Gold team members, including Stan Foo, Jan Halstead, Sue Gamache and Kurt Parkan, were in attendance at the start, the finish and at different checkpoints, offering support and encouragement to the mushers. In Nikolai, the team helped by providing food for Nikolai’s “Iditarod Café”, which was set up by the school cafeteria/gymnasium to welcome mushers and provide meals.

Kaiser Racing Kennel posted a kind note of appreciation for Donlin Gold’s support on their website (KaiserRacing.com/2016/03/sponsor-spotlight-donlin-gold/), stating the following:

“Donlin Gold has been a supporter of Pete and the Team for several years and their encouragement to Mushing in general has been outstanding. All of the folks at Donlin Gold have been great fans as well and helped out so much.

They are with us during training, at the starting line, and always the finish line. Stan, Jan, Kurt, Sue, and all of the great Donlin staff have not only been sponsors, but also great fans as well!

We appreciate not only the support of Kaiser Racing, but in keeping mushing alive by sponsoring the Iditarod and the Kuskokwim 300. It is support like this that keeps the sport and traditions alive! Thanks Donlin Gold! We truly appreciate having you as our Lead Dog Sponsor of
the Team!”

Donlin Gold appreciates these kind words, and is happy to serve as a good neighbor by supporting initiatives, events and people of the YK region. Donlin Gold congratulates all mushers who finished Alaska’s most challenging race, with a special nod toward Kaiser (5th), and Williams (48th). Your dedication, tenacity and spirit are inspiring. We are equally proud of Pete’s commitment to youth in the YK region and for raising awareness in suicide prevention.

Donlin Gold Partners

( January/February 2016 )

The proposed Donlin Gold mine site is located 10 miles north of Crooked Creek and is situated on private land. The project’s surface lands are owned by The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC), and the subsurface mineral rights by Calista Corporation. Donlin Gold has been conducting exploration and research with the best technologies and equipment for over 20 years in an effort to carry out a thoughtful and safe project on TKC and Calista shareholder land.


Calista and TKC recognize the financial potential of the project, the workforce opportunities for shareholders, as well as the commitment to an environmentally responsible project that honors a subsistence lifestyle.

Both Native corporations have beneficial agreements with Donlin Gold. Through these agreements, Calista and TKC shareholders, descendants and their spouses have hiring preferences, and subsidiaries have bidders preference in the proposed mine region. TKC would also have preference to different elements of the project including construction and operation of an upriver port, subsistence oversight and site reclamation. It is estimated that the average salaries at Donlin Gold will be approximately $100,000 per-year for a total payroll of about $100 million annually and an additional $60 million in indirect salaries. All Alaska Native people will also benefit from 7(i) and 7(j) revenue sharing provisions of ANCSA.

Local hire is a key value of Donlin Gold. Historically, up to 90 percent of the onsite workforce has been shareholders, descendants or spouses. The project will offer an alcohol-free, safe workplace and career longevity. It is estimated that once in operation, Donlin Gold will have a minimum of 27 years in operation and provide up to 3,000 jobs during construction and between 600 to 1,200 jobs during its mine life.

Donlin Gold encourages shareholders to prepare for future employment by receiving the proper education and training before construction begins. The company assists in funding Calista and TKC scholarship and internship programs to provide opportunities for training and education.

Donlin Gold is pleased to have both Native corporations in support of the project and to be able to provide regional stakeholders with potential job opportunities. Such a sizable project requires continued collaboration and communication with all stakeholders, and Donlin Gold is grateful to those who have worked with us during our first 20 years in the region.
We will continue to engage stakeholders, communicate project updates and offer stakeholders multiple opportunities to learn more about the proposed project.

To find out more information about Donlin Gold, our communications activities and project information, visit www.DonlinGold.com. Here you can also arrange to have a project update presentation given to your village or organizations. Quyana to all who visit Donlin Gold booths, attend village meetings and take the time to engage with us.

Winter Safety

( January/February 2016 )

Donlin Gold wants to see everyone start 2016 off on the right foot, taking proper safety precautions. With weather changing in Alaska and a rainy, icy winter in some areas, it is important to be prepared for slick conditions.

Here are a few safety precautions for icy weather:
•  Wear footwear with studs or grips to avoid slipping.
•  Monitor the weather for updates and warnings.
•  Keep hands out of pockets in case you need to brace yourself on impact.
•  Bring jumper cables, a shovel, blankets, flares and a bag of kitty litter or sand for traction when traveling.
•  Wear sunglasses during daylight to better see possible hazards.
•  Bend knees slightly and walk flat-footed on ice to shift weight evenly and carefully.
•  No matter the mode of transportation, slow your speed on ice and use precaution.

To stay informed and prepared for rapidly changing Alaska weather, you can visit FAA’s Weather Cameras at avcams.faa.gov and stay up to date on current conditions at your location. Donlin Gold will always strive for safety and live by the motto, “every person going home safe and healthy everyday.”

The 5th Annual Donlin Gold Basketball Classic

( January/February 2016 )

One of the many traditions that bind the YK region together is athleticism. Sport competitions unite communities as they cheer for loved ones and exercise good sportsmanship. Extracurricular activities also help children learn teamwork, accountability and dedication first-hand.

The Donlin Gold Basketball Classic was established as an opportunity for the community to come together and for children to build character while showcasing their skills on the court. This marked the fifth year of the three-day tournament, which began January 28 at          2 p.m at Bethel Regional High School’s Warrior Dome.

The tournament was full of energy with cheerleaders ensuring fans were cheering for the teams in the packed dome. Among those in the crowd were Donlin Gold’s Vernon Chimegalrea and Colleen Laraux, who were onsite to offer support to the participating teams and distribute goodies to the crowds.

Not only is Donlin Gold the title sponsor for this community event, but it’s also a sponsor of KYUK’s coverage of the games.

Donlin Gold’s sponsorship of the basketball tournament covers the cost of travel and board for many struggling schools and for students who would otherwise not be able to attend.

Donlin Gold is happy to participate in an event that brings the YK region’s community together and would like to congratulate all the athletes from Nome, Sitka, Kenai, Newhalen and Bethel who competed in the tournament. We offer special congratulations to the Bethel Warriors, who won first place in the girls’ competition, and the Sitka Wolves, who won first place in the boys’ competition.

Re-Pete First Place Win in the Kuskokwim 300

( January/February 2016 )

On the evening of January 15, 2016, Kuskokwim 300 (K300) participants pawed across the start line with distinguished Iditarod mushers, including John Baker, Jeff King, Richie Diehl, Mike Williams, Jr., and Bethel local and defending champion, Pete Kaiser, all competing in the 300-mile race from Bethel to Aniak and back.

This marks the ninth year that Donlin Gold has supported the K300. It has been a great opportunity for Donlin Gold to sponsor Pete, who was born and raised in Bethel. Last year, Pete came in first place at the K300, an impressive feat as it was not only his first year winning the race, but also the first time a Western Alaskan took home the 1st place prize in 29 years.

The K300 is a prominent race that attracts mushers from around the world, making it an exciting and competitive event. One of the most remarkable parts of the race is the community support, with volunteers from the YK region kindly offering their time, homes and food to provide a comfortable stay for mushers.

“We could not execute the K300 on the scale we do without the generous donation of time, resources and funds from families, volunteers and sponsors,” said Kuskokwim 300 Race Manager, Zach Fansler.

The race provides a feeling of camaraderie as villages unite to celebrate the YK region’s history of mushing, and watch mushers and their teams showcase their tenacious spirit, strength and determination.

The mushers reported that race conditions were more challenging than last year’s K300 due to 300 miles of ice, lack of snow and extreme winds, making it difficult for the dogs to have stable footing. Although conditions were not ideal, Pete noted that he was more confident with the experience he gained in last year’s K300 race.

“I had a much better understanding of my team’s capabilities this year, after they showed me what they could do last year,” said Pete.

Pete’s experience and determination paid off in the end, as he placed first at 11 a.m. on Sunday, January 17, earning him two, consecutive K300 wins.
Pete attributes his back-to-back wins to support from the region he proudly represents. “I am proud of this accomplishment not only for me, but also for my family, friends, sponsors, Bethel and the entire YK region. It is a true testament to the kindness of this region. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without my support system,” said Pete.

While fighting to keep the title of K300 Champion, Pete also continued to champion suicide awareness and spread the message “suicide is never the answer” on the trail. Pete supports Drew’s Foundation, and has been a role model for youth in the region by promoting this message for four years, participating in Public Service Announcements, school assemblies and more.

The issue of suicide is not only a key issue, prevalent throughout the region, but a also a message that hits close to home with Pete.

“I was friends with the late Drew O’Brien whose father started Drew’s Foundation after Drew committed suicide. Too many people I knew and grew up with are gone from suicide. It is a serious problem, and I am glad to be able to spread the word a little further. There is a lot of work to be done,” said Pete.

Donlin Gold will continue to sponsor Pete while he champions his message along the Iditarod trail to Nome.

Donlin Gold would like to congratulate all K300 participants and Pete for taking home another win. We are happy to sponsor a race that unifies the region while commemorating its history, and supporting YK region local, Pete, and his important message.

Public Comment Period

( January/February 2016 )

At the end of November, 2015, the Donlin Gold project reached another milestone as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began the five-month public comment period for the Donlin Gold Draft EIS. The Draft EIS outlines the proposed project, identifies alternatives to some of the project components, addresses possible impacts of the project and alternatives, and identifies potential mitigation measures to reduce impacts. Topics such as roads, barge landings, barges, airstrips, mine site features, as well as a 14-inch diameter, buried natural gas pipeline, are all addressed in the Draft EIS, which can be found on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ website at www.DonlinGoldEIS.com/EISDocuments.aspx

The public comment period offers an opportunity for stakeholders to publicly voice support, comments and concerns.
The public comment period will last until the end of April. An estimated 17 meetings are set to take place in multiple villages throughout the YK region during this time. One of the first meetings took place in Anchorage, January 28, at the Egan Center, with a large audience in support of the project. Attendees included The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC) and Calista Corporation board members and staff, and local residents from the YK region, who all took time to voice their opinion and support of the Donlin Gold project.

“We look to the future through Calista, TKC and Donlin Gold, in providing employment opportunities where there are no jobs in the YK area,” said president and CEO of TKC, Maver Carey. “We have a strong financial future and viable opportunities if Donlin Gold moves forward with producing the mine. Our region is the poorest in the entire state, and we strongly support and recommend that Donlin Gold moves forward with alternative number two.”

Many in attendance also addressed Donlin Gold’s approach to responsible development, the job opportunities the project would bring to the YK region that could improve the economy and how potential salaries from regional jobs would allow for a more viable subsistence way of life.

Andrea Gusty, TKC’s community relations land and resource manager, provided her personal testimony on subsistence and the costs associated with living in the region. “Aniak residents are struggling to heat their homes and put food on the table. They need money to continue their traditions,” she said. “You have to use a snow machine, boat or four-wheeler, to hunt or pick berries; it’s not cheap. You have to have money to continue those traditions, and you have to, of course, have a good job to make money to do that,” she added.

Andrea made the additional note that Donlin Gold has worked collaboratively with the people of the YK region to better understand their traditions, culture and subsistence way of life.
Representatives from Calista also spoke at the public input meeting on the economic struggles of the YK region, and how the job opportunities potentially offered by Donlin Gold could offset the downward economic trend.

While many have voiced support of the project at the meetings, concerns about the project and potential impacts to the environment and subsistence have also been shared. While these comments were directed toward the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Draft EIS, Donlin Gold also took note of their concerns. Donlin Gold has met with and listened to people in the region for years, and has made changes to the project based on voiced concern.

Donlin Gold will continue to listen, meet with communities and look for solutions to address concerns throughout the permitting process and as the project moves into construction and operations.

Donlin Gold thanks all who participated in the U.S. Army Corps public meetings to date. Donlin Gold encourages you to review the Draft EIS, take part in the upcoming meetings and communicate what this project means to you and your family. Sharing your experience as a local YK resident with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide valuable insight as Donlin Gold moves forward and strives for responsible development.
Meeting locations, dates and times can be found at www.DonlinGoldEIS.com/GetInvolved.aspx

You have a say in the future of the Donlin Gold mining project. Your opinion matters. Comments can be submitted at a public meeting, through our website, by fax or by email.

Fax: (907) 753-5567
Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Alaska District
P.O. Box 6898
JBER, AK 99506-0898