Alaska’s Donlin gold project – jointly owned by NovaGold and Barrick Gold – has received key state transport and energy infrastructure approvals, adding to a growing list of permitting approvals, including the jointly issued federal record of decision received in 2018.
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) has issued Donlin final right-of-way authorisation for the buried natural gas pipeline, the final authorisation of the easement, land leases, land use permits, and material site authorisations for the proposed transportation facilities, and easement for the fibre-optic cable on state lands.
Further, ADNR denied an appeal and affirmed the Division of Mining, Land, and Water’s original January 18, 2019 approval of Donlin Gold's reclamation plan and its accompanied permit.
A buried natural gas pipeline delivers environmental benefits, cost efficiency and capability to transport large quantities of natural gas to power the remote project site. The proposed 509-km pipeline would be 14 inches in diameter, typically buried at three to 1.8 m deep, providing a reliable natural gas supply regardless of weather or season to support power generation at the Donlin Gold site.
The Donlin project has an endowment of about 39-million ounces of gold in the measured and indicated mineral resource categories and rivals some of the best mines in the industry, with an average grade of 2.24 g/t. The mine is forecast to produce more than one-million ounces a year over a projected 27 years, but its operating life is expected to go beyond that, considering the known resources encompassed only 3 km of an 8 km mineralised belt.