KYUK AM

Chevak Opposes Donlin Mine

The proposed Donlin mine would impact about 3,500 acres of wetlands.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

Chevak passed an anti-Donlin mine resolution earlier this week. All five of its Traditional Council members voted for it. 

Richard Slats is the vice president of the council, and he says that the council fears the possible environmental impacts from the proposed mine.

"And mainly for the Yukon-Kuskokwim people’s future generations, and to preserve the clean waters of the Kuskokwim and Bering sea coast," Slats added. 

The project could be one of the biggest mines in the world if completed, and it would be developed in an area where most of the residents practice subsistence. Chevak, which sits on the coast next to the Bering Sea, joins 10 other communities in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta passing anti-Donlin resolutions within the last two years. Most of them came in the last three months. The other tribes are: Bethel’s ONC tribe, Eek, Tuluksak, Tununak, Nunapitchuk, Chuloonawick, Kwigillingok, Kongiganak, Chefornak, and Napakiak.

Slats says that they support the tribes taking a stand against it, but urges other tribes to take a stand about it “one way or another.”

Donlin Gold, the company developing the mine, has said repeatedly that it is working closely with stakeholders to build the mine “safely and responsibly.” Meanwhile, a major decision from the Army Corps of Engineers is expected to come out on Monday, which will determine how the mine will proceed.