NovaGold Endorses Barrick's Position on the Donlin Gold Project
NovaGold Resources (NYSE: NG) -
All figures are in US dollars except where noted and shown on a 100% Project basis, of which NovaGold and Barrick each hold a 50% interest.
NovaGold Resources Inc. ("NovaGold" or "the Company") comments on the recent filing made by Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX) with respect to the Donlin Gold Project ("Donlin Gold" or the "Project") located in Alaska. The Project is owned equally by a wholly-owned subsidiary of NovaGold and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barrick Gold. This announcement follows the recent decision made by the Donlin Gold LLC Board of Directors to approve the Updated Feasibility Study and give authorization to immediately file permit applications for the Project.
In reference to Donlin Gold as well as Cerro Casale, Barrick Gold stated in its filing, among other things, that it "would not make a decision to construct them at this time. However, they contain large, long-life mineral resources in stable jurisdictions, have significant leverage to the price of gold, and therefore represent valuable long-term opportunities for the company." Barrick Gold went on to say that it "will maintain and enhance the option value of these projects by advancing permitting activities, at reasonable costs, which in the case of Donlin Gold, will take a number of years."
It is reasonable for Barrick Gold not to be making a construction decision on this new, large-scale project at this time. NovaGold similarly is not making any such decision. The timeline of the permitting process means the co-owners have approximately four years to make any major decision on the Project. The Barrick Gold announcement thus does not represent any change in the Project status or direction for approximately the next four years.
It is also not unreasonable for Barrick Gold to note that the Project represents a significant value due to Donlin Gold's physical and jurisdictional attributes as well as the significant leverage it provides to the gold price. NovaGold agrees completely. It is the Company's belief that Donlin Gold represents the finest option on gold in the sector, and NovaGold's streamlining of its asset base this year to focus on maximizing this option value has been the guiding objective of its strategy of asset sales, spin-offs and divestitures in order to focus exclusively on taking Donlin Gold along the value chain. NovaGold believes that a pure play on Donlin Gold, a pure gold, jurisdictionally safe North American asset, is an excellent way for its shareholders to gain a highly leveraged exposure to the gold price.
By combining all the measures Barrick Gold cites favorably, including size, long mine life, jurisdictional safety and leverage to gold, Donlin Gold is clearly exceptional. To these attributes should be added production profile, grade, and exploration potential. When combined, the Company believes the Project is a uniquely attractive asset that is poised to grow in value as Barrick Gold and NovaGold take it through permitting and thus along the value chain.
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