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Donlin Gold

Technical Report


Permitting began for Donlin Gold in mid-2012 with the submission of the initial permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the "Corps”), the lead federal permitting agency. Federal permitting in Alaska is a clearly defined environmental review process which is typically coordinated under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a procedural law that governs the process by which most major natural resource projects in the United States are evaluated.

From 2012 to 2018, permitting activities at Donlin Gold were focused on the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is the detailed environmental review required by NEPA. The EIS has been the most time-consuming aspect of the environmental review process and in large part, has driven the overall permitting timeline for the project, involving extensive coordination with Alaska Native Corporations, Villages and other key stakeholders and multiple opportunities for public participation. Many issues were identified and thoroughly considered in the EIS process with significant and early input by cooperating agencies as well as the public.

The federal permitting process has now been completed and Donlin Gold continues to work with the state agencies to advance all other required permits and approvals, which have issued most of the major permits necessary for the Donlin Gold project. of the table below summarizes the status of the major State and Federal permits.

Donlin Gold Major State and Federal Permitting Summary2

Federal Permits
Permit Status
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act § 404 Permit and Rivers and Harbors Act § 10 Permit 1 On August 13, 2018, after extensive environmental analysis pursuant to the NEPA, the Corps and the BLM issued a Joint Record of Decision (“JROD”) approving issuance of the § 404 and § 10 Permits, authorizing the discharge of dredged and fill material into waters of the United States.  The work authorized under the Corps permit must be completed prior to August 31, 2038, unless an extension is sought by Donlin Gold.
Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) Right-of-Way Permit (“ROW”) Also on August 18, 2018, BLM issued the ROW approval for portions of the natural gas pipeline crossing Federal lands. The ROW expires December 31, 2048; however, the conditions of the ROW require that construction of the facility must be complete with 96 months of the effective date unless an extension is requested prior to the end of the 84th month from the effective date.  Donlin Gold has had informal discussion regarding an extension request with BLM in case it is needed.


State Permits
Permit Status
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (“ADEC”) Air Quality Permit On June 30, 2023, ADEC issued a new Air Quality Control Construction Permit for the Donlin Gold Project.
ADEC Integrated Waste Management Permit On January 18, 2019, ADEC issued an Integrated Waste Management Permit to Donlin Gold authorizing the disposal of waste associated with the Project. The term of the permit was through January 17, 2024. Donlin Gold timely submitted a renewal request.  DEC subsequently administratively extended the existing permit while the renewal request is being processed.
ADEC Alaska Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“APDES”) Permit On May 24, 2018, ADEC issued the APDES permit for surface water discharges from the Project.  The term of the permit was through June 20,2023. Donlin Gold timely submitted a renewal request. ADEC subsequently extended the existing permit while the renewal request is being processed.
Alaska Department of Natural Resources (“ADNR”) Reclamation Plan Approval On January 18, 2019, ADEC issued the Reclamation Plan approval. The term of the approval was through January 17, 2024. Donlin Gold timely submitted an updated plan, including revised financial assurance requirements.  ADNR subsequently administratively extended the existing approval while the renewal request is being processed.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game (“ADF&G”) Fish Habitat Permits On August 30, 2018, ADFG issued 13 fish habitat permits for construction in streams in the mine area and along the transportation route that support anadromous fish spawning, rearing, and/or migration.
ADNR Land Use Leases, Easements, and Permits (for Jungjuk Port, access road, material sites, airstrip, fiber optic line along pipeline route, etc.) On January 2, 2020, ADNR issued these authorizations for State land use.  They generally have 30-year terms.
ADNR Pipeline ROW On January 17, 2020, ADNR issued its offer to lease for the pipeline ROW. The ROW requires construction to commence within five years of the effective date of the lease, which is February 11, 2025. Donlin Gold has initiated discussions with ADNR for a three-year extension of this deadline.
ADNR Water Rights On July 2, 2021, ADNR issued 12 water rights for the mine area and transportation corridor.  These rights have a 10-year term.
ADNR Dam Safety Certifications This is a multi-year process since ADNR issues final certifications based on detailed engineering designs and construction plans.  In 2023, Donlin Gold completed all the remaining field work for the certifications.  Donlin Gold is finalizing the Preliminary Design Packages (PDPs), which will be submitted to the State later in 2024 after review by an Independent Technical Review Board (ITRB), which will meet in May.

1 Associated with the issuance of the Corps Permit, the State of Alaska, through ADEC, issued a Clean Water Act § 401 Certification that the discharges would be in compliance with State of Alaska Water Quality Standards.

2 A detailed list of all permits can be found in the technical report found here

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