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Cole to lend mine engineering expertise as GM of Donlin Gold

 

Last updated 1/26/2018 at 2:57pm



Barrick Gold Corp. and Novagold Resources Inc., equal owners of Donlin Gold LLC, Nov. 14 announced the appointment of Andy Cole as general manager of the Donlin Gold project in Alaska.

"Advancing through permitting and preparing for the development of a unique asset like Donlin Gold is a rare opportunity and I'm excited to take on this role," said Cole. "We believe Donlin Gold can be a model of responsible mine development with the potential to generate meaningful benefits for our Native corporation partners, Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation, and communities throughout Alaska for many decades to come."

Cole has more than 20 years of experience in permitting, building and operating major gold mines in North America. He most recently served as executive director of Barrick's U.S. operation, where he was responsible for permitting, energy, communications, community relations and corporate social responsibility. Before that, he served in a variety of senior operating roles, including general manager of Barrick's Goldstrike and Ruby Hill mines in Nevada.

Cole is well known for his active involvement in local campus and mining education programs and serves on the advisory boards of a number of university engineering and mining programs.

He will be relocating to Anchorage, Alaska, and will report directly to the board of Donlin Gold LLC, equally represented by the owners, Barrick and Novagold.

"As we move through permitting, Donlin Gold's path up the value chain will shift toward engineering and, potentially, the development of what is arguably the most important gold project in the world today. My team and I have known and worked with Andy for years, and we can't think of a better person to take this project through the next phases of value maximization. Andy's breadth and depth of experience and talent is well suited to unlock the potential of Donlin Gold for its owners, and continue to build on the strong partnerships we enjoy with the Native corporations and other stakeholders," said Novagold President and CEO Greg Lang.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lead federal permitting agency for Donlin Gold, is working toward the completion of a final environmental impact statement for the nearly 40-million-ounce gold project in Southwest Alaska.

Concurrent with these and other permitting activities, Barrick and Novagold are studying ways to further enhance the project's value and lessen initial capital, such as modular construction techniques, more selective mining methods, automation of certain mining activities and additional value accretive scenarios.

These studies have identified opportunities that, in combination with changes in prices of most major input costs, have the potential to increase the overall value of Donlin Gold as the owners consider updates to the project feasibility study completed in 2011.

Much of this work has come under the leadership of outgoing general manager Stan Foo, who has been with the Donlin Gold project for 12 years.

"Andy's extensive experience and expertise make him an ideal candidate to take this project forward, building on the progress we have made under Stan Foo's strong leadership at Donlin Gold," said Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky. "As we advance through the permitting process, we look forward to working with Novagold and Andy's team to optimize Donlin Gold, with a focus on maximizing the long-term value of the project for all stakeholders."

Donlin Gold is one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in the world with an estimated mine life of 27 years and an average gold grade that is more than double the gold industry average.

-SHANE LASLEY

 

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