Tribal lawsuit halts Donlin Gold
April 15, 2021
A lawsuit filed by the Orutsararmiut Native Council has led to a judgment that invalidates a key permit for what could be one of the largest gold mines in the world: Donlin Gold in western Alaska.
The proposed mine has tribes, villages and for-profit Alaska Native corporations at odds with each other. Some say the project would harm the critically important salmon fisheries, a mainstay of locals' diets. However, it would also bring infrastructure, jobs, and other benefits to the region. And two Alaska Native corporations would profit from it.
State Judge Z. Kent Sullivan ruled Monday that the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation erred when it issued a clean water certificate to Donlin Gold. He found in favor of the tribe’s argument the project wouldn’t meet state water quality standards.