Donlin Gold Closes Camp During Permitting

(Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK)
(Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK)

Donlin Gold is shutting down its camp at the site of its gold deposit near Crooked Creek. Kurt Parkan is external affairs manager for Donlin Gold.

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“Because a significant amount of fieldwork necessary to bring the project to permitting has already been completed, the need for a camp to be open during that permitting phase doesn’t exist, so we’re temporarily closing the camp during the final phase of the permitting process, and will make a decision to open it once we get through permitting and additional fieldwork justifies the need for the camp to be open again,” said Parkan.

Parkan expects 10 jobs lost in the closure. Over 200 people worked on site at times of peak exploration and fieldwork. The camp has been open for most of the past 20 years, during which companies have explored the massive gold prospect. Teams will continue basic environmental monitoring, but without the convenience of an established camp. Mothballing the site will take about two months.

Donlin is about two and half years into the permitting process and expect another two years before a final permit and the company makes a decision on whether to move ahead.

“The company is focused very heavily on the permitting phase right now, working with cooperating agencies, government agencies to complete the permitting process and environmental impact statement,” said Parkan.

draft environmental impact statement is expected in late summer or early fall of this year. Donlin’s proposed open-pit mine would be among the largest gold mines in the world. The company is owned by Nova Gold and Barrick Gold, two Canadian companies.

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Ben Matheson is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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