Donlin Gold LLC has applied for permits to develop an open pit, hardrock gold mine about 10 miles north of the community of Crooked Creek, in southwest Alaska. (277 miles west of Anchorage and 145 miles
northeast of Bethel.) In addition to the mine site, the project would include 313 miles of buried, natural gas pipeline; a power plant; and a road, airstrip and barge landings.
If built, the Donlin Gold project would produce gold from a major ore-body, through a subsurface lease with Calista Corporation, an Alaska Native regional corporation, and a surface use agreement with the
Kuskokwim Corporation, a merged Alaska Native village corporation. Some components would be on State of Alaska and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. On the Cook Inlet side of the pipeline, a small portion
of CIRI Inc. land would be affected.
The proposed project would take about 3 to 4 years to construct, with a projected mine life of approximately 27½ years. It would produce approximately one million ounces of gold per
year for 27½ years. About 59,000 tons of ore would be processed onsite each day. Major project components would include:
- Excavated open pit, ultimately about 2.2 miles long, 1 mile wide, and 1,850 feet deep
- A waste treatment facility (tailings impoundment) about 1 mile long, ultimately covering 2,350 acres
- Waste rock facility covering approximately 2,300 acres
- Mill facility processing approximately 59,000 tons of ore per day
- Natural gas-fired power plant with a total connected load of 227 MW
- A 313-mile, small-diameter (14-inch) natural gas pipeline from the west side of Cook Inlet to the power plant
- Transportation infrastructure including:
- 5,000-foot airstrip
- 30-mile road from the mine site to the new barge landing
- New barge landing near Jungjuk Creek on the Kuskokwim River
- Upgraded dock facilities in Bethel.
The mine and facilities would have a total footprint of about 16,300 acres. There is currently no road or rail access to the site, nor an existing power supply.