Subsidiary Profile

Lands & Resources

Regional Overview

Calista Corporation’s land entitlement is made up of approximately 6.5 million acres in the Yukon Kuskokwim (YK) River Delta and the Kuskokwim Mountains regions of Southwestern Alaska. The area’s 56 villages selected the bulk of their entitlement based on the importance of the land to their subsistence economies, both in terms of the available resources and in preserving access to those resources. Nearly five million acres of the total entitlement has been conveyed to Calista and villages in the Region.


Calista Corporation's natural resource base includes subsurface estate that underlies 6.2 million acres of surface entitlement held by the Region's village corporations. In addition, Calista’s entitlement includes 238,000 acres of fee estate lands where Calista owns both surface and subsurface rights. About half of the fee estate entitlement was selected, and has been conveyed to Calista in areas with current mineral production, past mining history, or that are prospective for precious metals or other mineral resources. Calista selected these areas for their potential to foster Shareholder employment and regional economic development. Leaseholders working on Calista lands today develop these resources under regulatory scrutiny, using environmentally sound practices that preserve and enhance the inherent wildlife habitat and ecological values of the land.

Throughout much of the 20th century, mining had a significant effect on economic and social well-being in the Calista Region. More than 1 million ounces of placer gold, 600,000 ounces of platinum and 40,000 flasks of mercury were produced, and mining provided an economic base with hundreds of jobs. The platinum mine at Goodnews Bay and the Red Devil mercury mine were leading North American mineral producers at one time. Placer gold mining supported several settlements, including Iditarod, Marshall and Nyac.

Today, placer gold production continues on a small scale and is an important source of revenue for Calista. Construction material production, including sand, gravel and quarry rock, is of growing importance, and with improved transportation facilities, could grow even more.

The Donlin Gold project, now in the predevelopment stage and operated by Barrick Gold Corporation and NovaGold Resources Inc., provides a substantial employment and economic opportunity for Shareholders in the Region. The project is expected to apply for permitting in 2012.

Donlin Gold, LLC

The Donlin Gold mining project located in the Calista Region hosts one of the largest known undeveloped gold deposits in the world. Equally owned by Barrick Gold Corporation and NovaGold Resources, Inc. exploration and baseline studies have been ongoing since 1995.

The mining site, located 10 air miles north of Crooked Creek village, is located on surface land owned by The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC) and Calista Corporation owns the subsurface land. The project is expected to enter into permitting in 2012. Donlin is committed to hiring residents and Shareholders from the YK region for the construction and operational phases of the project. In addition to providing thousands of local jobs and economic growth, the project will also benefit all Alaska Native Shareholders through 7(i) and 7(j) revenue sharing.

Oil & Gas

Exploration for oil and natural gas resources in the Calista Region has been focused on three primary geographic areas – the Bethel Basin, the Yukon Delta/Norton Sound and the Holitna Basin. With the exception of Norton Sound, none of these areas received adequate subsurface exploration efforts; however, all of the geologic information collected to date suggests a very low probability for the occurrence of conventional, economically recoverable oil resources. Analysis of sedimentary rocks from the basins indicate they contain organic material, which is not prone to generating oil, but some rocks do contain material associated with gas generation.

The Holitna Basin is located in a broad lowland area lying between the Kuskokwim Mountains and the Alaska Range. Villages in the area include Sleetmute, Stony River and Lime Village. The area is roughly outlined by a 3,200-square-mile, airborne magnetic survey, completed in 1998 by the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (DGGS). Due to its proximity to the Donlin Gold project (about 45 air miles) and some geological similarities to Cook Inlet gas fields, the Holitna Basin is most likely to be targeted for exploration activity in the near future.

Sand Rock & Gravel

Sand, gravel and quarry rock are significant components of the subsurface estate that Calista Corporation received through ANCSA. These materials generate corporate revenue through sales for commercial and residential development and through grant-funded and capital-funded projects.

Upgrading rural airstrips to meet FAA safety standards and federal funding for transportation projects in Alaska communities provide a continuing demand for sand, gravel and rock. Runway lengthening, widening or relocation requires both embankment and surfacing materials, which can be sourced within the Region. Other community infrastructure projects require construction materials to build village water and sewer systems, access roads and docks. Overall regional population growth and the resulting need for additional housing and other facilities increase the demand for sand and gravel for embankments and foundations.

The Nunalista Joint Venture between Calista Corporation and Knik Construction manages several key material extraction sites in the Region, including the Kalskag, Platinum and Goodnews Bay rock quarries, and the Aniak and Platinum gravel pits. These road and barge accessible sites provide several varieties of construction material to the growing Bethel market as well as other villages along the Kuskokwim River and Delta. The Kalskag, Goodnews and Platinum quarries furnish a more durable, high-quality crushed aggregate product that is suitable for and airstrip surfacing.

Sand, gravel and crushed rock provide economic resources to communities in the Calista Region through surface disturbance payments to ANCSA village corporations, and Shareholder employment during extraction, hauling, shipping and placement of materials used in local construction projects.

Maps & Reports



Bookmark and Share