Welcome to the Donlin Gold Working Group (DGWG) Home Page.

PERMITTING HAS BEGUN!  Click here for the EIS homepage

The DGWG was created as a response to the proposed Donlin Gold Mine, in the Kuskokwim River Watershed of southwest Alaska.  This website was created to serve four main purposes:

1.) To provide information about the possible environmental impacts of developing the mine

2.) To provide information and facilitate discussion about the permitting process 

3.) To host important files, such as maps, photos, and important studies

4.) To collect comments about all of the above

We hope this can serve as a central resource through which it will be easy to find the information you need about the mine, its impacts, and the permitting process. Please have a look at the various topics on the left. It is our hope that this website will allow for a stronger permitting process that takes into account all Alaskans, but most importantly, people in the region. 

A lot of work and research has been done already on Donlin, so you will find many links to other sites as well as some original content here.  Many files linked from this site can also be found in the file directory in the menu on the left.  Finally, this site is a work in progress.  You can help make it better.

(above photo:  Russian Mountains and the Kuskokwim River near Crooked Creek, by David Griso)


Anyone can view this site, but to use it interactively you'll need to email me (Jill Yordy)  so I can list you as a user.  You'll also be able to upload documents, photos, and maps.  If you don't want to bother with any of this, just email or call me (907-452-5021 x28) and let me know what you'd like to add or say and I'll do it for you.  

When you get the invitation email to use the site, you will need to have a Google account.  It only takes a minute to get one and it's free.  You can either follow the instructions in the invitation email or do it right now by clicking here.  Once you're a user, I encourage you to comment on items and share documents, but please use caution if you go into the editing system so we don't lose content. Keep in mind that every action on the site is permanently logged so I'll know who changed or removed anything. 

Thanks for your interest.  This is a big project and I think it deserves all the collective input we can gather.  As long as it's not offensive to anyone else, we encourage people to write about what they think about the mine.

I encourage you to email me for more information, and to contact anyone in the roster who might be better suited to answer your questions.  You can also call me at (907) 452-5021.  

About the working group:

The DGWG consists of people and groups within the Kuskokwim River region and throughout Alaska who are concerned about the future of the land and water surrounding the proposed mine. We encourage active participation from people that share our concerns or have information to offer.  You can view a roster of our group by clicking here.

Mission Statement:

"The Donlin Creek Working Group aims to be a transparent, publicly-accessible informational resource and forum to those concerned about the Donlin Creek Mine’s impacts on the region’s land, air, and water.”

A brief overview of the proposed mine:

The Donlin Gold Project is a proposed gold mine located 13 miles north of the village of Crooked Creek, and about 270 miles northwest of Anchorage.  It has been extensively explored and drilled, and the permitting process is underway. The surface estate is owned by the Kuskokwim Corporation (a village corporation); the Calista Corporation (a regional Corporation) owns the mineral rights underneath the mine site. The mine would be operated by Donlin Gold LLC, a company owned 50/50 by Barrick Gold Corporation and NovaGold Resources.

The mine would have a total footprint of about 25 square miles.  Although smaller, its scale is comparable to that of the proposed Pebble Mine, and like Pebble, is in an ecologically important watershed from which many people obtain large proportions of their food.  One of the largest concerns of the Donlin Project is the potential for mercury contamination, which can severely impact fish. 

Donlin Gold LLC estimates that mining and milling would occur for approximately 27½ years and produce nearly 40 million ounces of gold. The mine would be an open pit gold mine, with a waste rock facility, tailings storage facility, ore stockpile, and mill. The pit would be 2.2 miles long, 1 mile wide, and 1,850 feet deep.  The mine would also require housing, an airstrip, river port, power plant, water treatment plant, truck maintenance shop, offices, storage facilities, and roads.  Mining would be done using conventional methods (blasting and trucking) and would process 59,000 metric tons of ore per day. Milling processes would involve vat cyanide leaching to recover the gold.

Large mines often have impacts that will essentially be permanent. Though reclamation is required after a mine closes, many aspects of a modern mine require long-term maintenance and oversight, and water that flows from closed mine sites often needs to be treated forever, sometimes at great expense, in order to prevent pollution. You can find case studies of various examples here. Much more research is needed for Donlin to better determine possible water pollution risks.

The permitting process for the mine is underway.  In August, 2012, Donlin Gold submitted a Plan of Operations and the Wetlands Permit Application under Section 404 of the U.S. Clean Water Act to the federal and state regulators, initiating the permitting process.  As required by the National Environmental Protection Act, permitting the mine will require an environmental impact statement (EIS).  The US Army Corps of Engineers has contracted URS Alaska, LLC to conduct the EIS.  Scoping for the EIS will occur December 14, 2012- March 29, 2013.  We believe it's important to know as much about the mine proposal and to comment as much as possible on it during the permitting process.

Huge amounts of energy will be required to power this remote mine.  Donlin Gold proposes to run a 313-mile, small-diameter (14-inch) natural gas pipeline from the west side of Cook Inlet to the mine.  A 100 foot wide right of way would be cleared along the route of the pipeline, along with airstrips, camps, and roads. The pipeline would be capable of transporting approximately 50 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas. 

For a more detailed fact sheet of the mine, click here.

Click here to go to the Donlin LLC website.

Click here for a directory of all past Donlin LLC newsletters.

Below: the airstrip and camps at the exploration headquarters. 

Recent Files

  • Donlin EIS FINAL Scoping Report.pdf   1306k - Aug 13, 2013, 11:25 AM by jill@northern.org (v1)
  • Attachments 16-20.pdf   5326k - Mar 29, 2013, 12:29 PM by Pete Dronkers (v2)
  • Attachments 6-15.pdf   10248k - Mar 29, 2013, 12:29 PM by Pete Dronkers (v2)
  • Attachments 1-2, 4-5.pdf   6579k - Mar 29, 2013, 12:29 PM by Pete Dronkers (v2)
  • Attachment 3.pdf   1354k - Mar 29, 2013, 12:29 PM by Pete Dronkers (v2)
Showing 5 files from page File Directory.

Donlin Creek Working Group Calendar