The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Donlin Gold remains on pace

Novagold Resources Inc. April 3 reported that it ended the first quarter on pace to achieve its 2017 goals at the Donlin Gold project in Southwest Alaska and the Galore Creek copper-gold-silver project in northwestern British Columbia.

"With more than US$98 million in our treasury as of Feb. 28, 2017, we are able to concentrate on activities related to permitting Donlin Gold, maintaining strong ties with all of our stakeholders and delivering on our stated objectives," said Novagold President and CEO Gregory Lang.

Novagold has five primary goals for 2017: advance Donlin Gold toward a construction decision; enhance the value of Galore Creek; maintain a healthy balance sheet; continue its effective corporate social responsibility program; and evaluate opportunities to monetize the value of Galore Creek.

The company said the final Environmental Impact Statement for Donlin remains on pace to be filed in early 2018.

The 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. Novagold and Barrick Gold Corp., equal owners of this world-class gold project, are expected to make a formal decision to develop Donlin sometime prior to the issuance of permits.

During a conference call on Novagold's first quarter results, Lang said the company is currently anticipating a final EIS by March and expects that it will take the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers another three or four months to write a record of decision.

All other permits needed for construction to begin are also expected to be issued by then, meaning the project could begin development in the second half of next year.

Donlin Gold continues to advance permitting for a 312-mile pipeline to transport gas from Cook Inlet to the mine site.

The partners are timing pipeline permits to coincide with the expected permits for mine development.

At Galore Creek, Novagold said it is continuing to work with its partner Teck Resources on technical studies as well as care and maintenance of the large copper project.

When built, Galore Creek is expected to be the largest copper mine in Canada and one of the lowest-cost producers.

Novagold hopes to sell its 50 percent interest in Galore Creek and apply the money to funding its share of the development of Donlin.

The company, however, told analysts that it is not "a motivated seller" and will wait for the right offer before monetizing this large asset in northern B.C. Novagold ended its first quarter (Feb. 28) with cash and term deposits totaling US$98 million and expects to end the year with approximately US$82 million.

Author Bio

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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