Georgetown members & friends,

A public hearing will be held on the DONLIN GOLD PROJECT  AND DONLIN GOLD WASTE MANAGEMENT PERMIT from 6:30 to 9pm at the Atwood Conference Center on January 26th, that’s this Friday!

The public hearing is intended to provide the public an opportunity to submit oral comments regarding the draft permit. Public may also submit written comments in lieu of or in addition to providing oral testimony at the hearing.

Before reviewing the permit materials please read the following considerations from the Center for Science in Public Participation:

“Perhaps the most important points to recognize in Donlin’s application and DEC’s proposed permit are:
• Water treatment is likely to be forever, and approved in 5 year increments. Never before has the state of Alaska approved a mine knowing in advance that it will need to treat mine water “forever” (“in perpetuity”). This is precedent-setting.
• The water treatment system proposed is a good one, but must be vigilantly maintained.
• There are no requirements to maintain creek water as it is.”

Donlin Gold, LLC (Donlin Gold) is proposing the development of an open pit, hard rock gold mine in southwestern Alaska, about 277 miles west of Anchorage, 145 miles northeast of Bethel, and 10 miles north of the village of Crooked Creek. The proposed project would be located in an area of low-lying, well rounded ridges on the western portion of the Kuskokwim Mountain. The proposed Donlin Gold project would require approximately three to four years to construct, with the mine life currently projected to be approximately 27 years. The mine is proposed to be a year-round, conventional “truck and shovel” operation using both bulk and selective mining methods.

The APDES permit authorizes the discharge of treated wastewater to Crooked Creek from Outfall 001. The proposed facility is expected to operate at a net positive water balance thus necessitating the need to discharge excess water. The water treatment plant (WTP) will utilize oxidation, clarification and greensand filtration, with reverse osmosis (RO) as required. The WTP will have a combined maximum design capacity of approximately 4,750 gallons per minute (gpm), with an anticipated maximum treatment rate of approximately 4,500 gpm. A mixing zone is not authorized under this permit. The WMP authorizes the disposal and storage of solid and liquid waste to the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF); Class III Camp Municipal Solid Waste Landfills; American Creek Valley waste rock facility; ACMA and Lewis mine pits; Upper and Lower Contact Water Dams, and groundwater and surface water collection, and monitoring systems within the Donlin Gold Project footprint. In addition to the disposal of wastes listed above, this permit applies to hazardous chemical storage and containment, reclamation and closure activities related to all the facilities within the area, and financial responsibility to fund reclamation, closure and post-closure activities. This permit also covers monitoring requirements for the mine pits, waste rock, and ore stockpiles, and seepage collection systems.

Additionally, this permit covers reclamation and closure activities for the TSF; ore, waste rock, and overburden stockpiles; and mine pits, including disposal to the mine pits as approved by the department. Mixing Zone: DEC does not propose a mixing zone for the discharge into Crooked Creek from the Donlin Gold Project facility. To see the draft permit and fact sheet, go to For more information, contact Allan Nakanishi at 907-269-4028 or email regarding the draft APDES permit or Tim Pilon at 907-451-2136 or email for the WMP.

Deadline for comments is February 13.