What and Who Is the DATROC?
Donlin Gold has committed to ongoing outreach and communications with the region.
As part of the commitment between Donlin Gold (Donlin), Calista Corporation (Calista) and The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC) to maintain a well-defined process for communications, dialogue and problem solving as needed among these partners and with the broader community, the partners established the Donlin Advisory Technical Review and Oversight Committee in 2018. Through the DATROC, Donlin will seek the views of its partners on items, including but not limited to, environmental protection, reclamation, subsistence uses, impacts on communities, impacts on cultural resources and reasonably minimizing conflict among uses. In addition to ongoing public outreach activities, a communications protocol will be developed through which the results of permit-driven monitoring programs can be shared and project-related issues can be identified, tracked, and resolved using the DATROC structure. The communications protocol would also encompass a variety of issues or concerns, including barging activities, for example.
Establishing the DATROC and implementing the communications protocol support the following overall goals for Donlin Gold’s partnership with the region:
- Assist with identifying the impacts of Donlin operations in the region and provide a framework for problem solving and conflict resolution.
- Establish open, transparent and reciprocal communications in the region about Donlin Gold’s operations and associated impacts.
- Coordinate and communicate with Calista and TKC on an ongoing basis about the region’s needs and priorities.
- Encourage ongoing community participation and collaboration about issues important to the region, addressing questions and concerns and sharing ideas and solutions.
- Build solid relationships between Donlin and community leaders, community members, businesses and other important stakeholders in the region who have a shared interest in continuing to strengthen the region’s economy, health and wellbeing.
What are Community Advisory Committees?
Community Advisory Committees (CACs) are an important way for the people of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region and the Donlin Gold project to communicate, and a best practice for good relationships between mining projects and the communities where they operate. Donlin Gold’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), approved in August 2018, commits to formulating and maintaining community advisory committees throughout the life of the Project.
Community Advisory Committees Have Many Important Functions
- Establish open, transparent and reciprocal communications in the Region about Project operations and associated issues of concern.
- Exchange information and knowledge among Regional stakeholders and Donlin Gold project leadership.
- Encourage the public to interact, collaborate and brainstorm with the DATROC (Donlin, Calista and TKC) on an ongoing basis about the issues important to the Region, via a diverse group of committee members brought together for discussion.
- Identify and discuss issues of concern to the community about Project operations in the Region and provide a framework for problem solving and conflict resolution.
- Build trust and productive working relationships among the many community leaders, community members, businesses and other stakeholders in the Region as well as the DATROC members (Donlin, Calista and TKC), who all have a shared commitment to strengthen the Region’s economy, health and wellbeing.
Each committee will meet in person twice per year, in the spring and fall. If it is not safe or feasible to meet in person, the committee may hold meetings remotely or by phone until in-person meetings can be resumed. The Subsistence Community Advisory Committee will be launched and begin meeting in 2022 once all SCAC positions have been filled. Additional committees to be launched later.
Community Advisory Committees Advise the DATROC
The community advisory committees provide a forum for sharing information, questions and ideas from the Region’s communities, and share information and updates about the Donlin Gold project in the Region. Information flows in multiple directions, illustrated in this graphic:
CACs listen to and discuss ideas from members of the Region’s communities and share them with the DATROC. DATROC will then provide recommendations and feedback to the mine operator. CAC members may ask questions or share concerns they have heard from the public with the DATROC. Project staff will provide CACs with relevant Project updates, including study findings and plans for the upcoming season. The CACs also collect feedback from family, friends and neighbors and share what they learn in their own communities with the DATROC and share in their communities what they learn from DATROC.
The CACs are independent advisory bodies that provide feedback to the DATROC and the Donlin Gold project, not subcommittees of DATROC. All communications, recommendations and other official actions by the committee are addressed to DATROC.
List of Committees
There are four CACs, each focused on an important topic related to the Donlin Gold project:
- Subsistence Committee: This committee focuses on the relationship between the Donlin Gold project and subsistence activities within the Kuskokwim River drainage.
- Transportation and Infrastructure Committee: This committee focuses on transportation and infrastructure in the Region related to the Donlin Gold project, including barging activities, land and river transportation and Project-related infrastructure.
- Environmental Committee: This committee addresses ongoing environmental monitoring and other studies related to the Donlin Gold project, including review and discussion of findings from ongoing studies.
- Social and Cultural Responsibility Committee: This committee advises on how the Donlin Gold project can best fulfill its social and cultural responsibility to the Region by supporting strong communities and healthy people.
The first of these, the Subsistence Community Advisory Committee (SCAC), will hold its first meeting in 2022 after the committee is staffed. For more information about this committee and how to apply click here.
The remaining committees listed are in development and will be announced at a later date.
Who Are the Committee Members?
Each committee has defined membership with designated seats, with different perspectives included to bring knowledge and experience to each topic area. For example: all Subsistence Committee members will be required to be actively engaged in and knowledgeable about subsistence activities. All members must live in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, or have a primary residence there. Members are selected by DATROC through an application process, based on clearly defined qualifications and a consistent evaluation process for all seats. Members serve a three-year term.
Questions? Contact Us!
Interested in applying for a committee seat? Questions about community advisory committees, the Project, or any other topic? Contact Colleen Laraux, Community Relations & DATROC Coordinator:
Donlin Gold LLC
P.O. Box 2987
Bethel, AK 99559