YK Delta tribal consortium withdraws support for Donlin Gold mine

The Association of Village Council Presidents no longer supports the proposed Donlin Gold mine. The decision came after two hours of passionate debate Wednesday, during the organization’s annual convention. 

Delegates from the 56 tribes that AVCP represents overwhelmingly voted to withdraw a 2006 resolution supporting the mine, and then voted to pass a separate resolution that opposes it. There were forty-one delegates attending the convention. 

The new resolution shows the mine has lost significant regional support from tribes. 

The Orutsararmiut Native Council of Bethel, which opposes the mine, submitted the resolution to withdraw the 2006 resolution. The Native Village of Quinhagak submitted the resolution that opposed the Donline Mine. Both resolutions will be presented at the Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention in October. 

Donlin Gold did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. Mine officials have repeatedly said the company plans to build the mine as safely as possible. 

The resolution asking for AVCP to withdraw the resolution supporting the mine passed with 34 delegates voting yes, four no, and two abstaining. The resolution opposing the Donlin mine passed with thirty-five delegates in favor, two opposing, and three abstaining.

Last year, AVCP tabled two anti-Donlin resolutions that sought to reverse its position on the mine. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Orutsararmiut Native Council of Bethel submitted both resolutions. The Native Village of Quinhagak submitted the resolution that opposed the Donline Mine.