The proposed Donlin Gold Mine in Alaska has received permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management following about six years of environmental review.
The project required a permit from the Corps because it will affect thousands of acres of wetlands. The project also includes a 507-km (315-mile) gas pipeline planned to cross federal land, requiring BLM approval, the Associated Press reported.
Barrick Gold Corp. and Novagold Resources are partners in the project that would include a conventional openpit mine on a site 16 km (10 miles) north of the village of Crooked Creek in the Upper Kuskokwim River drainage.
“The issuance of the Donlin Gold ROD and key project permits is a significant milestone for both partners,” said Rob Krcmarov, executive vice president, exploration and growth for Barrick. “It would not have been possible without exceptional professionalism of the Donlin Gold team as well as members of the Corps, BLM, and other federal and state agencies. As one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in the world, Donlin Gold represents exceptional optionality within our portfolio. Now, with key permits in hand, we can concentrate on further exploring ways of reducing initial capital and unlocking the value of this asset for all of our partners, in keeping with our deep commitment to community engagement and environmental stewardship.”
“The permitting process for the Donlin Gold project was very comprehensive and thorough,” said Greg Lang, Novagold’s president and chief executive officer. “At various stages of this multi-year undertaking, all stakeholders had multiple opportunities to engage and make meaningful contributions to the final outcome. We would like to extend special gratitude to the Corps, BLM and other cooperating agencies for their successful navigation of this complex process. We would also like to thank Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation, our Native Corporation partners, for their unwavering support and commitment to the project. Congratulations to the Donlin Gold team on achieving these important milestones. The ROD is a very detailed document, which serves as the foundation for issuance of the federal permits required for us to build a technically, environmentally, and financially responsible, as well as a socially sustainable, operation.”
The project still requires numerous other permits. Donlin says it plans to tackle the major ones this year.