The tribe’s withdrawal removes a longtime pillar of support for the project.
The mine project consists of 92,000 acres of land located between Holy Cross and McGrath, just 25 miles north of the Donlin Gold project.
DNR has granted land-use rights for a proposed 315-mile long pipeline that would stretch from Cook Inlet to the proposed mine site.
Six tribes opposed the water rights permits, saying that removing that much water from the area could hurt the region’s water supply and ecosystem.
The decision comes after an administrative law judge recommended that the DEC should not uphold the certificate in April.
The announcement came just a week before the State of Alaska is expected to issue a verdict on a key permit for the company.
On Monday, an administrative law judge issued a recommendation that the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation rescinds a state water quality certificate that was issued to the Donlin Gold mine in 2018. The certificate is required under the Clean Water Act. Here’s what rescinding the certificate could mean for the proposed mine, and how the parties…
The Orutsararmiut Native Council challenged that certificate, contending that the state cannot have “reasonable assurance” that the mine won’t violate the water standards.
The state granted Donlin Gold 12 water right permits after giving the public 15 days to comment. Some Y-K Delta residents claim that wasn’t enough time, especially with villages locked down to fight the pandemic.
The executives said there might be a way for Donlin to reduce its costs if Donlin and Pebble were connected by a new, state-financed road and had access to a new, state-financed port.