Donlin Gold receives more state permits, moving closer to operating mine in Y-K Delta

Donlin runway and camp site in summer 2014.
The proposed Donlin Gold mine would be one of the biggest gold mines in the world if completed. (Photo by Dean Swope/KYUK)

Donlin Gold received a handful of state permits on Jan. 2 that move the company closer to operating its gold mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, according to Alaska Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Dan Saddler.

The permits will allow Donlin to build an airstrip and a port, and install fiber optic cables and build access roads for its mine, which could be one of the biggest in the world if completed.

The company needs more than a hundred permits before it can build and operate its mine. It already received two major federal permits and state permits in the last two years.

Separately, DNR Commissioner Corri Feige denied an appeal from Donlin opponents over the agency’s approval of Donlin’s reclamation plans. Those seeking to appeal that denial must go through the court system within the next 30 days.

But Donlin still faces hurdles. The state is reviewing its application for a right-of-way to build a 315-mile gas pipeline for its operations, and Donlin is currently working on its dam safety certification; that can take as long as two years.

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