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Sustainability

Community Engagement

Donlin Gold LLC has a strong and dedicated community relations team focused on intensive outreach to regional stakeholders. Establishing collaborative working relationships with Y-K communities that function over the long term is essential in order to develop a solid foundation based on respect for the values, the culture, and the language of the people in the region – and to successfully advance the project. Relationship-building is only possible when based on a sincere approach of openness, constructive dialogue, and mutual respect.

Donlin Gold LLC had more than 6,370 engagements with key individual stakeholders and community organizations across 56 communities in the Y-K region in 2022, many more than the last year’s total of 1,065. This was in part due to the post-pandemic opportunities for increased in-person events and communication. In 2022, we were thrilled to return to more in-person engagement and interaction, which gave us the ability to renew the reach of our direct communication channels with stakeholders of the Y-K region. All this communication is led by the project’s community relations team who are all Alaska Native and Tribal Members, and is done in a manner that is respectful of community traditions and designed not only to inform but solicit feedback on ongoing and future project activities. Much of the engagement is conducted in Yup’ik, which is the primary language for many Elders and villages.

Group photo of kids in bright green vests

As an example of our outreach approach, Donlin Gold LLC continues to discuss options to mitigate or modify any project activities that could negatively affect stakeholders. Ongoing feedback on project activities is coordinated through the Donlin Advisory Technical Review and Oversight Committee (DATROC), which is comprised of senior leadership from Calista and TKC, who advise Donlin Gold LLC on issues of specific interest to the communities. During 2022, we continued to work to form DATROC’s Subsistence Sub-Committee that is comprised of community members and will advise Donlin Gold LLC on promoting and protecting subsistence activities as the project moves forward. In 2023, the Sub-Committee plans to have regular meetings to discuss subsistence issues; this is especially important as the region faces continuing challenges associated with salmon declines and fishing restrictions.

Typical stakeholder engagement has generally involved regular in-person meetings with key community leaders, community group update presentations, program development consultation, and responding to environmental issues, as well as education and assistance with health and safety matters. Over the years, we have specifically participated in hundreds of in-village visits in the Y-K region. In 2022, Donlin Gold LLC strived to further enhance the frequency and effectiveness of community engagement through new Community Liaisons who have been Donlin Gold project site employees living in the Y-K villages of Marshall, Tuluksak, Nikolai, Napaskiak, and Pilot Station.

A detailed stakeholder engagement plan, which is updated annually in collaboration with Calista and TKC, guides outreach activity at the project level and considers each local stakeholder’s level of responsibility, influence, proximity, dependence, and representation in the project region.

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