Public Meeting On Proposed Gold Mine Draws Interest

Concern Expressed Over Possible Damage To Area

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by Mike Ford

ANCHORAGE - An environmental impact scoping meeting filled the Wilda Marston Theatre of the Loussac library Tuesday. (1/22) Dozens of residents gave public comment at the proposed mine by Donlin Gold in the Kuskokwim watershed.

Donlin has been working on the project for the past 17 years doing exploration work,environmental data and base line studies.

Located 10 miles from the Kuskokwim River near the community of Crooked Creek, the open pit mine could produce up to 33 million ounces of gold over a 27-year period.

Construction of the mine would take close to 4 years and would employ around 3,000 workers. Once the mine opened it would need a staff of between 8-1,400 employees for the duration of mine operation.

A number of concerned citizens turned out in opposition of a gold mine saying the 16,000-acre wetland footprint from such a mine would extend into the Alaska marine transportation corridor. They fear any dam failure would have a catastrophic affect on villages along the route.

Donlin officials say more than 100 permits, both state and federal, must be secured before ground can be broken on the project.

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