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Comment deadline is March 29, 2013
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun the scoping process for the Donlin Gold LLC project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Corps will accept comments, questions, and suggestions to be considered and used to help identify concerns and benefits of the project in the draft EIS, expected to be published August 2014.
The 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 313 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 will be scrutinized under a rigorous permitting process that reviews and analyzes all potential impacts, and should include the positive economic ones. Alaska has seven existing large producing mines that were permitted under a rigorous review required by the National Environmental Policy Act and a scientifically based permitting process that would require as many as 100 State and Federal permits and authorizations.
The project is on surface land owned by The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC), and subsurface land owned by Calista Corporation. 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.
Additional project information can be found at:
RDC encourages its members to submit written comments urging the Corps to include the following in the EIS:
- The social and economic benefits of this project to the region, state, and to the nation
- The potential for lower cost energy options to the region
- Job opportunities which will likely lead to reduced out-migration, helping to maintain rural schools.
All stakeholders and interested parties are encouraged to participate in scoping so that all issues and benefits can be identified and reviewed during the EIS process. Furthermore, encourage a timely and efficient process.
Don Kuhle, Regulatory Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 6898
Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, AK 99506-0898
Fax: (907) 562-1297
Points to consider in your comments:
Comment deadline is March 29, 2013
- The Donlin Gold project could produce gold for 27.5 years, while providing well paying jobs in a region where few other opportunities exist.
- The State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources enforces stringent regulations overseeing mining activities statewide that effectively protect the environment, wildlife, and human health.
- New mining operations in the area, should they come to fruition, can be of great economic benefit to Alaska and local communities, as well as Alaska Native corporations and shareholders.
- This project will likely provide responsible economic prospects for this region and for Alaska, while protecting the subsistence resources.
- The energy infrastructure (gas pipeline) to support this project may open the door for lower cost energy solutions in the region.
- The EIS process gives Alaskans and other stakeholders adequate time to fully review the project documents, and to provide input on the plans.
- The project will benefit Alaska Native corporations statewide. Royalties paid to The Kuskokwim Corporation and Calista Corporation will in part be redistributed to other regional and village corporations.
- The project will offer long-term opportunities for rural Alaskans to develop skills and to enable them to not only continue living in rural Alaska, but to prosper.
- Donlin’s project description demonstrates an understanding of environmental concerns, and features vigorous environmental management principles.
- Alaska’s existing mines are operating to the highest standards and in harmony with our renewable resources.