EIS released, comments open on Kuskokwim gold mine proposal

Donlin runway and camp site in summer 2014. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.
Donlin runway and camp site in summer 2014. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, has been released for the proposed Donlin Gold mine.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the document in November. It’s more than 1,000 pages long.

The EIS is a part of the permitting phase for Donlin Gold, who’s aiming to create an open pit gold mine 10 miles near the village of Crooked Creek on the Kuskokwim.

Numerous state and tribal agencies assisted in developing the EIS, which can be read online. The document is available in print at two libraries in the region, the Kuskokwim Consortium library in Bethel and the School Library in Aniak.

The proposed mine is a joint-venture by Barrick Gold and Nova Gold, as well as the Calista Corporation and the Kuskokwim Corporation.

Public comment for the statement is open until late spring. After which, the comments will be considered when constructing the final draft of the EIS, which is expected to be published in 2017.

During this period the Donlin Gold officials will still need to gain approval for more than 150 permits and certifications before the mine can be built.