North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Donlin Gold partners focus on permits as Corps finalizes EIS


Last updated 1/20/2018 at 2:46pm

Novagold Resources Inc. Nov. 25 said it is anticipating the environmental impact statement for the Donlin Gold project to be finalized around this time next year.

The Donlin Gold Mine being considered in the EIS includes a 53,500-metric-ton-per-day mill that is expected to produce an average of 1.1 million ounces of gold annually for 27 years. During its first five years of operation, this annual average will be closer to 1.5 million oz.

Donlin Gold LLC - equally owned by subsidiaries of Novagold Resources Inc. and Barrick Gold Corp. - is the company advancing this world class gold project in 2012.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lead agency for the EIS process, has reviewed the comments submitted on a draft EIS it published late in 2015.

In the fourth quarter, all the draft EIS comments were read, reviewed and separated into discrete categories such as water quality, tailings management and spill risks, mercury fate and transport, barging and socio-economics.

Novagold said the Corps will determine how to address the comments, including incorporating additional information and making revisions to the EIS as appropriate.

As the Corps finalizes the EIS, Donlin Gold is working towards obtaining the other permits necessary to develop a mine at the roughly 39-million-ounce gold deposit.

"Throughout 2017, we will continue to work with state and federal agencies to advance issuance of all other required permits, including the water discharge permit, dam safety approvals, water use permits, fish habitat permits, and land and shoreline lease and right-of-way approvals. The level of teamwork, professionalism and dedication from all of those involved in this permitting process has been remarkable as we jointly remain focused on the end goal - successful completion of the permitting process for a truly unique asset," explained Novagold President and CEO Greg Lang.

In conjunction with permitting work, Novagold and Donlin Gold are carrying out optimization studies for the potential mine.

"As we approach completion of the EIS and permitting processes, the owners expect to update the feasibility study to reflect these and other changes, which may also include, among other things, third-party owner-operator agreements and other optimization possibilities," explained Lang.

Novagold ended its fiscal year, Nov. 30, with US$105 million in cash and term deposits. The company said this is more than enough to last through the permitting process.

In addition to its cash and investments, Novagold holds a 50 percent stake in Galore Creek, a large copper-gold project in northwestern British Columbia.

"This project has the potential to be one of the largest, highest-quality, lowest-cost copper producers in Canada," Lang touted.

Novagold and its Galore Creek partner, Teck Resources Ltd., continue to build on a strong relationship with the Tahltan Nation, on whose traditional territory the project is situated, and carry out technical studies of the copper-gold project.

"We remain confident that these efforts will improve the value and marketability of the Galore Creek project, which we continue to plan to monetize, in whole or in part, to further strengthen our balance sheet and redeploy capital toward the development of Donlin Gold," Novagold's CEO explained.



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