By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Donlin drilling exceeds high expectations

2020 program boasts safety-gold-productivity target trifecta North of 60 Mining News – March 29, 2021


Last updated 5/27/2021 at 3:40pm

Novagold Resources Barrick Gold world class Donlin project Alaska

Donlin Gold LLC

Donlin Gold exceeded the planned meterage of its 2020 drill program without any COVID-19 cases or lost-time incidents.

With the final assay results now in, Donlin Gold LLC partners Barrick Gold Corp. and Novagold Resources Inc.'s 2020 drill program exceeded the high geological bar set for their 39-million-ounce gold project in Southwest Alaska while also meeting an even higher standard for safety.

"By far, our most important objective in 2020 was to protect the health and safety of our workforce, contractors, and the residents of the Yukon-Kuskokwim region," said Donlin Gold General Manager Dan Graham. "Despite the added challenge of navigating a pandemic, all 2020 drill program objectives were transcended and accomplished with zero COVID-19 cases on site and no lost-time incidents. This is a testament to the professionalism and teamwork of all involved. It is an honor to work directly with our Alaska Native Corporation partners, Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation, as well as the communities in the Y-K region."

With 23,361 meters of drilling completed, productivity at Donlin Gold camp was not affected during a year that was interrupted by COVID-19.

And the assay results continued to demonstrate the extraordinary nature of the Donlin Gold deposit.

"On every level, the results of the largest drill program at Donlin Gold in 12 years have been incredibly rewarding for the partnership and all stakeholders. Since we released the initial results in August last year, the assays have consistently revealed higher-grade gold intersections," said Novagold Resources President and CEO Greg Lang.

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Already hosting 504.81 million metric tons of proven and probable reserves averaging 2.09 grams per metric ton (33.9 million ounces) gold, Donlin Gold has plenty of ore to produce more than 1 million oz of gold annually over a 25-year mine life detailed in a 2011 feasibility study.

The 85-hole drill program completed at Donlin last year focused on validating and increasing the confidence in recent geologic modeling concepts for the world-class gold deposit in preparation for updating the feasibility study.

The Donlin Gold partners said the final batch of assays from the 2020 drilling continue to exceed modeled grade-thickness (gold grades times width of zone), with higher grades observed over narrower intervals, particularly in sedimentary rocks.

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Highlights from the third batch of assay results include:

51.2 meters averaging 4.6 g/t gold from 148.9 meters in hole DC20-1930, including 7.6 meters of 12.4 g/t gold.

47.7 meters averaging 4.8 g/t gold from a depth of 101.6 meters in DC20-1932, including four meters of 19.5 g/t gold.

22.6 meters averaging 8.7 g/t gold from a depth of 161.5 meter in DC20-1948, including 10.1 meters of 15.5 g/t gold.

18 meters averaging 10.5 g/t gold from a depth of 1.83 meters in DC20-1938, including four meters of 28 g/t gold.

35.8 meters averaging 4.5 g/t gold from a depth of 96.2 meters in DC20-1946.

These results follow on earlier impressive results from the 2020 program:

41.9 meters averaging 11.6 g/t gold from 30.4 meters in hole DC20-1871.

4.2 meters averaging 80.6 g/t gold from 123.5 meters in hole DC20-1877.

6.9 meters averaging 43.1 g/t gold from 178.6 meters in hole DC20-1888.

6.8 meters averaging 52.1 g/t gold from a depth of 99.4 meters in hole DC20-1903.

37.3 meters averaging 7 g/t gold from a depth of 249.7 meters in hole DC20-1912.

103.9 meters averaging 6.1 g/t gold, from a depth of 390.2 meters in hole DC20-1937.

Novagold Resources Barrick Gold world class Donlin project Alaska drill map

Donlin Gold LLC

"Needless to say, the assay results from the 2020 drill program further strengthen our resolve and belief in the extraordinary nature of Donlin Gold and provide us with a wealth of new knowledge to integrate into an updated geologic model," said Lang.

The Donlin Gold partners are planning for additional resource confirmation and extension drilling during the 2021 field season with a focus on further testing the continuity and structural controls of the orebody, as well as collecting and analyzing further geotechnical and geometallurgical data.

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It is anticipated that once the 2021 drill program is completed and the results incorporated into a final geologic model update, the focus will shift to updating the feasibility study for developing a mine at this world-class gold asset in Southwest Alaska.

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Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Over his more than 13 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.

Phone: (907) 726-1095


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