Powering the Project
It is estimated that the proposed Donlin Gold mine would require an average load of 157 megawatts. To provide the amount of power required to operate the mine at peak capacity, a 14-inch, 312-mile-long buried pipeline to transport natural gas from the Cook Inlet region to the mine site is being considered.
This would be an alternative to barging in diesel fuel from Bethel. If the pipeline is included in development, approximately two barges per day would take small amounts of diesel fuel and camp supplies from Bethel to a port site approximately eight miles downriver from Crooked Creek. The diesel and supplies would then be transported on a 30-mile access road to the mine site.
Many other options to provide power – such as coal, hydroelectricity, a power-line intertie, biofuel and even nuclear energy – were considered during the feasibility analysis but did not meet the current needs of the project.