Client: Donlin Gold
Location: Bethel + Crooked Creek, AK
Project Date: 2012
Project Lead: Heidi Wailand + Thea Agnew Bemben
The Donlin Gold project is an ambitious effort to develop a large-scale gold mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The mine, located 155 miles upriver from Bethel and ten miles north of Crooked Creek in the middle of the Kuskokwim River delta, is expected to have a total active life of 27 years. The mine is estimated to yield more than 30 million ounces of gold over its life, which would make the project one of the highest-producing gold mines in the world. The company is committed to local and indigenous hires and establishing a skilled workforce in the region. In June 2012, Donlin Gold contracted with Agnew::Beck to research best practices in workforce development and indigenous hire programs that could be implemented in rural Alaska. We drew from our deep knowledge of rural Alaska’s culture, economy, and people to inform the research and recommendations. The result was a strong business case for investing in a suite of culturally appropriate community-level strategies to develop an effective workforce and communities that support workers and their families. A::B presented their recommendations to the Donlin Gold leadership team in October for their consideration in future decisions about Donlin Gold’s investment in the Y-K region and its people.