Comment in support of Donlin Gold Project
Comment deadline was August 15, 2022



The Donlin Gold project is located in Southwest Alaska, approximately 277 miles west of Anchorage, nearest to the community of Crooked Creek. In addition to an open pit, hard rock gold mine, the project proposal includes 315 miles of buried, natural gas pipeline; a power plant; and a road, airstrip and barge landings.

The Donlin Gold project could produce gold for 27.5 years, while providing well-paying jobs. The region experiences some of the highest unemployment rates and has few other economic opportunities. Through the exploration stages, Donlin has shown a strong commitment to local hire as well as showing support to communities and cultures in the region. The Donlin Gold project is a rare opportunity to improve the local economy where few other opportunities exist.

The project is on surface land owned by The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC), and Calista Corporation subsurface estate. These lands were selected under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) specifically for their mineral development potential. Royalties paid to Calista will in part be redistributed to other regional and village corporations, pursuant to the 7(i) and 7(j) provisions of ANCSA. Donlin Gold is proposing to develop this land in partnership with Calista Corporation and TKC. Donlin Gold is jointly owned by Barrick Gold US Inc. and NovaGold Resources Alaska, Inc.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is conducting a public comment period on proposed public easement changes that will facilitate the construction and operation of Donlin Gold. Note that there are two permit applications with their associated preliminary decisions from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR):

  • EV 3-244 - An Easement Vacation to permanently vacate seven of the easements within the core operating area. Replacement easements will be donated by the private landowners (Donated Easements 1-6) to the State for orderly and continuous access through the area. Of note, FAS 231 will not be vacated.
  • ADL 236624 - An Easement across State-owned lands on the west and north sides of the core operating area to help provide alternative access around the mine site (ADL 236624). This decision will also address the temporary closure of Donated Easements 2-6 while active mining operations are taking place (ADL 234025), the minor re-alignment of RST 76 outside the core operating area on the eastern side of the mine site (ADL 234035), and additional public safety measures. Of note, Donated Easement 1 will connect FAS 231 to the new easement on State lands and will remain open for public use during and after active mining operations.


Action Requested:

RDC members are encouraged to comment in support of the Donlin Gold Project before the August 15th deadline.

Note that there are two permit applications with their associated preliminary decisions from DNR. Please reference ADL 236624 when submitting written comments regarding the DNR decisions and reference EV 3-244 when submitting comments regarding vacation of easements. Please comment on both permits/decisions.


Comments may be submitted to:

ADL 236624
Division of Mining, Land and Water
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 900C
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Email: [email protected]

EV 3-244
DNR, DMLW, Survey Section
Attn: Victoria Braun
550 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 650
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Email: [email protected]

Additional DNR information can be found at

Points to consider: 

  •  Donlin Gold LLC has proposed the development of an open pit gold mine in southwest Alaska, on lands owned by Alaska Native Corporations, Calista Corporation (Calista) and The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC). Within the mine’s core operating area, there are various public easements. These easements were originally created in support of historic mining activities in the region or established to maintain access to public land through private lands. These easements see little to no public use. While in operation, the mine site will be an industrial area. Restricting public access through the mine core operation is important for the safety of the public and mine workers. Access control measures must be implemented to protect the public and mine workers.

  • The Donlin Gold, Calista, and TKC public easement plan will maintain continuity of public access using newly established and existing easements, while providing for the safe operation of the mine. Regardless of the little public use of these trails, Donlin Gold has committed to establish trails by clearing tall vegetation and adding signage as needed to facilitate passage.

  • At the conclusion of mining activities and reclamation, public access through the mine area will be restored. Restored post-mining access, when combined with alternate access created during mining activities, will provide the public with greater access to these lands than existed before mining activities began.

Comments were due on August 15, 2022