Donlin Gold Mine Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Donlin Gold Mine Pipeline is a proposed natural gas pipeline in Alaska, USA.[1]


The pipeline will run from the west side of Cook Inlet to a power plant at the Donlin gold mine, located in Crooked Creek, Alaska on the Kuskokwim River.[1][2][3]

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Project details

  • Operator: Donlin Gold LLC[4]
  • Owner: Donlin Gold LLC[4]
  • Parent Company: NOVAGold [50%]; Barrick Gold Corp [50%][1][5]
  • Proposed capacity: 73 MMcf/d[4]
  • Length: 315 miles[6]
  • Diameter: 14 in[4]
  • Status: Proposed[4]
  • Start year: 2024[4]
  • Cost: 783.2 million USD[4]


The Donlin open-pit gold mine in the upper Kuskokwim River drainage is proposed to be one of the world’s largest, producing more than 33 million ounces of gold over an initial 27-year life.[1] The project started seeking various permits from mid-2012.[7] The 315-mile natural gas pipeline from the west side of Cook Inlet would fuel a power plant at the mine and fuel storage tanks would be built at Dutch Harbor, in addition to the very large-scale operation at the mine site.[1] The natural gas pipeline is an alternative to the previously proposed diesel option.[6] The report asserts that the planned Donlin power plant would be the largest in Alaska, would increase power generation in the state by 40 percent, and would produce enough electricity to power a city of 500,000 residents. NOVAGold is a 50 percent owner of Donlin Gold LLC, the joint venture project company, along with mining industry giant Barrick Gold Corp.[1]

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of April 2021 the project had received FERC approval.[4] In August 2021, Alaska granted Donlin Gold LLC the right to lease state land to build the pipeline. Local communities opposed the project, and the environmental law firm EarthJustice was representing these groups in a regulatory battle.[8] In May 2023, three Alaska Native tribes with the help of EarthJustice sued the federal government alleging failure to properly analyse the environmental impact of the project.[9]

In September 2022, the Aniak Traditional Council rescinded its support for the associated proposed Donlin Gold Mine, citing the likelihood for increased barge traffic in the nearby Kuskokwim River to affect subsistence fishing by residents.[10] The construction of the pipeline project is expected to start in November, 2023.[11]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Elwood Brehmer, NOVAGold files lawsuit against authors of short sale report Alaska Journal of Commerce, July 15, 2020
  2. Donlin Gold LLC, Quick Facts Google Maps, accessed July 23, 2020
  3. National Energy and Petrochemical Map , FracTracker, February 28, 2020
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 "Natural Gas Data - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Retrieved 2023-08-03.
  5. "Donlin Gold Project". Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 01 August, 2023. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |access-date= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Donlin Gold- Operations & Infrastructure". NovaGold. Retrieved 01 August, 2023. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |access-date= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "Donlin Gold- Permitting". NOVAGold. Retrieved 02 August, 2023. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |access-date= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "". Retrieved 2022-10-06. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. Brooks, James (06 April, 2023). "Three Southwest Alaska Native tribes sue federal government, seeking to block gold mine - Alaska Beacon". Alaska Beacon. Retrieved 2023-08-02. {{cite news}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. "". Retrieved 2022-10-06. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. "Donlin Gold Natural Gas Pipeline". Retrieved 2023-08-02.