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Barrick Gold and NOVAGOLD announce Donlin Gold drill results

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Global Mining Review,

Donlin Gold LLC, owned 50/50 by Barrick Gold Corporation and NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC., has reported initial assay results for 18 completed drill holes, plus additional partial results for 11 holes from the 2021 drill programme.


  • Assay results have been received from approximately 7500 m of drilling:
    • Significant new high-grade drill hole intercepts in ACMA and in areas between ACMA and Lewis deposits (divide) point toward the potential feeder zones of this large system.
    • Collected data support the mineral resources, provides further information on local variability, and further increases confidence in recent geologic modelling concepts.
  • The drill programme, expanded by approximately 15 holes and 4000 m from the original 2021 plan, should provide important information on mineralisation continuity that will support feasibility work.

2021 drill programme

The primary objective of the 2021 drill programme is to complete the work necessary to validate and increase the confidence in recent geologic modelling concepts. Initial results indicate variable controls on mineralisation in different deposit areas, with more continuous mineralisation hosted in ACMA intrusives and more discrete intervals occurring in the sediments and intrusives in Lewis.

The additional confirmation and extension drilling focuses on further testing of orebody continuity and structural control, and data collection for geotechnical and geometallurgical analysis. The drilling programme was recently expanded to test an area of ACMA for mineralisation continuity. The 2021 drill programme is expected to encompass approximately 80 holes for a total of 24 000 m drilled and should wrap-up in the fall. The logging and assay results will then be incorporated into a geologic model update, followed by a shift in focus to feasibility study work, subject to a formal decision by the Donlin Gold Board.

Five of the top intervals received in the programme to-date include:

  • DC21-1970 intersected 92.02 m grading 7.8 g/t gold (Au), starting at 69.70 m drilled depth. This including sub intervals of:
    • 3.20 m grading 29.2 g/t Au, starting at 70.70 m drilled depth.
    • 3.01 m grading 14 g/t Au, starting at 81.90 m drilled depth.
    • 3.65 m grading 12.5 g/t Au, starting at 104.85 m drilled depth.
    • 5.18 m grading 33.7 g/t Au, starting at 146.03 m drilled depth.
  • DC21-1963A intersected 40.97 m grading 10.5 g/t Au, starting at 114.30 m drilled depth, including a sub interval of 14.96 m grading 22.2 g/t Au, starting at 117.24 m drilled depth.
  • DC21-1969 intersected 47.78 m grading 9 g/t Au, starting at 400.51 m drilled depth, including sub intervals of:
    • 5.98 m grading 18.1 g/t Au, starting at 401.43 m drilled depth.
    • 11.98 m grading 13.9 g/t Au, starting at 414.41 m drilled depth.
    • 5.66 m grading 11.3 g/t Au, starting at 442.63 m drilled depth.
  • DC21-1959 intersected 24.44 m grading 14.6 g/t gold, starting at 378.85 m drilled depth, including a sub interval of 6.50 m grading 33.5 g/t Au, starting at 386.79 m drilled depth.
  • DC21-1961 intersected 5.74 m grading 42.2 g/t Au, starting at 275.54 m drilled depth, including a sub interval of 4.74 m grading 50.8 g/t Au, starting at 275.54 m drilled depth.

Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow, said: “The 2021 drill programme is validating our geologic modelling concepts; in particular with regards to demonstrating the controls over mineralisation in the different parts of the deposits. This improved understanding is a necessary step towards optimising the mine design and progressing the project up the value chain.”

Greg Lang, NOVAGOLD’s President and CEO, added: “The 2021 drill programme has been enormously rewarding – allowing us to improve our knowledge of the geology and mineralisation in the ACMA and Lewis deposits which in turn will provide the information required to proceed with a new feasibility study. Indeed, we have decided to expand the drill programme by approximately 15 holes and 4000 m from the original 2021 plan to test the mineralisation continuity in a targeted area of the ACMA deposit. As with last year’s programme, drilling has delivered multiple examples of outstanding gold intercepts. Excellent results, such as those reported today, reinforce our belief in the uniqueness of an asset like Donlin Gold, whose combination of outstanding size, quality, and exploration upside are clearly among the only answers to an industry defined by an era of declining reserves, lacklustre gold grades and ever-increasing jurisdictional risk.”

Dan Graham, General Manager of Donlin Gold, concluded, “We are proud of the work accomplished by our site crew. We have operated a clean camp for the second season in a row amidst the COVID pandemic, exceeded our productivity rates, while maintaining an excellent safety and environmental record. During the 2021 drill programme, 70% of our direct hires were shareholders from Calista Corporation, which included the new camp catering contract with a Calista subsidiary. Worker safety, environmental stewardship, and benefits to the region remain top priorities for Donlin Gold.”

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