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Kuskokwim leaders view Donlin Gold DEIS as a step to opportunity

Barrick Gold Corp. and Novagold Resources Inc. Nov. 30 reported that the Donlin Gold Draft Environmental Impact Statement has been published by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, a significant permitting milestone for the 39-million-ounce Donlin Gold project located in the Kuskokwim region of Southwest Alaska.

Leaders of Calista Corp., the Alaska Native regional corporation that owns the mineral rights at Donlin Gold, and Kuskokwim Corp., the village corporation that owns the surface rights at the project, hailed the permitting milestone as step towards increased opportunity for their shareholders and the region.

"As an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act corporation, Calista must meet two key goals, to successfully operate as a profitable business and to provide socio-economic benefits to our shareholders," said Calista CEO Andrew Guy.

"The advancement of this project can allow Calista to meet both ANCSA goals by providing an opportunity to develop partnerships for future low cost energy, in addition to meaningful employment opportunities for shareholders and a revenue stream for Calista." Kuskokwim Corp. President and CEO Maver Carey said Donlin Gold "has the potential to create jobs and financial benefits for TKC and the people in the region, allowing them to continue living off this land for generations to come." The Donlin Gold Mine being considered in the DEIS includes a 53,500-metric-ton-per-day mill that is expected to produce an average of 1.1 million ounces of gold annually at a cash-cost of US$585 per ounce for 27 years.

During its first five years of operation, the mine is designed to extract 1.5 million oz. of gold annually at a cash-cost of US$409 per ounce.

"Donlin Gold's significant resource remains a great asset to Barrick," said Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky.

"We are confident that the Donlin Gold LLC team in partnership with Calista and the TKC are advancing the permitting process expeditiously and with due consideration for all stakeholders." The Corps is now expected to issue a schedule for public meetings on the draft environmental impact statement, to be held in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region and Anchorage in the coming weeks.

Following a five-month comment period scheduled to close in April 2016, the Corps is expected to publish a final EIS in 2017.

"Donlin Gold offers significant opportunities for economic stimulus, job creation, and social and community development.

More importantly, the project could create unique incentives for people to return to their region by generating economic growth that is consistent with traditional ways of life," said Novagold President and CEO Greg Lang.

"With this opportunity in mind, we encourage the local communities in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region and other interested parties to be active participants in the public meetings." The draft environmental impact statement is available at

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Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.


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