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Better than expected Donlin gold

 

Last updated 7/2/2018 at 9:34am

Novagold Resources Inc.

The 2017 drill program at Donlin gold cut grades as high as 5.93 g/t gold over 130.5 meters.

Novagold Resources Inc. Feb. 20 said the 16-hole drill program carried out last year at Donlin Gold, a world-class gold mine project in Yukon-Kuskokwim region of western Alaska, encountered long sections of high-grade gold within the reserve pit and in areas outside of the currently proposed mine area.

"Donlin Gold's latest drill results are better than expected, further demonstrating the incredibly robust quality of this exceptional project," said Novagold President and CEO Greg Lang. "Beyond the distinctly significant high-grade intercepts encountered within the reserve pit, we are also excited by the high grades identified outside the planned pit boundaries. With a history of growth through drilling, these results are indeed indicative of the exceptionally strong resource potential that exists at Donlin Gold."

The Donlin Gold deposit hosts 504.8 million metric tons of proven and probable reserves averaging 2.09 grams per metric ton (33.85 million ounces) gold.

These reserves support a 53,500-metric-ton-per-day mining operation that is estimated to average roughly 1.1 million oz gold annually over a projected 27-year mine-life, according to a feasibility study carried out in 2011.

While Donlin Gold has been working its way through the permitting process, Novagold and Barrick Gold Corp., equal owners of this world-class gold mine project, have been studying ways to optimize the proposed mine.

The drilling completed last year was part of this optimization work – and the partners were not disappointed with the results.

"We are very encouraged by the latest drill results at Donlin Gold, some of which encompassed areas where relatively little drilling had been previously done," said Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky. "The results are further evidence of the significant potential of this deposit. We look forward to continuing to collaborate closely with our partner, Novagold, to advance optimization work and permitting at this unique project."

Highlights from the 16 holes drilled include: 130.5 meters grading 5.93 grams per metric ton gold from a depth of 205 meters in hole DC17-1821; 39 meters of 9.34 g/t gold from a depth of 342 meter in DC17-1821; 43.9 meters of 7.6 g/t gold from 453.2 meters in DC17-1827; 64 meters of 5.09 g/t gold from 547 meters in DC17-1832; and 30.4 meters of 10.3 g/t gold from a depth of 208.6 meters in DC17-1824.

"We can say with conviction that these are some of the finest intercepts any gold company has produced recently – and in any jurisdiction," said Lang.

With a better understanding of the mineralization and structures within the targeted zones, Novagold and Barrick said the new data will provide valuable inputs to advance optimization work.

Novagold Resources Inc.

Residents from the Yukon-Kuskokwim region made up half of the workforce during the 2017 field program at Donlin Gold.

As the Donlin Gold partners finalize the optimization work, the permitting process for the gold project is nearing its conclusion.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lead agency for the permitting of Donlin Gold, is expected to issue a final Environmental Impact Statement for the project around the end of March. It is expected to take another four months for the Corps to issue a record of decision, which will wrap up the federal permitting process.

Decisions on other key federal and state permits are expected to occur concurrently with or shortly after the Corps' record of decision.

"As we look to complete the federal permitting process and advance optimization work during 2018, we are encouraged by the opportunity for Novagold and Barrick to develop the Donlin Gold project in a fiscally-disciplined manner, and to build a mine of truly generational significance," said Lang.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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