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Donlin Gold announces remaining assay results

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Global Mining Review,

Donlin Gold LLC, owned 50/50 by Barrick Gold Corp. and NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC., has shared the last set of assay results from the successful 2020 85-hole, 23 361 m drill programme.


  • Assay results for all 85 completed holes now reported, representing a final total of 23 361 m drilled.
  • Assay results demonstrate higher drilled grade-thickness than predicted by previous modelling.
  • Data collected has resulted in an improved appreciation of the controls on mineralisation.
  • Drill programme results will be integrated into the geologic model.

The Board of Donlin Gold is considering additional confirmation and extension drilling to expand upon recent successes and fresh insights into the continuity and structural controls of the higher-grade mineralisation.

The primary objective of the 2020 drill programme, the largest such campaign at Donlin Gold since 2008, was to validate and increase the confidence in recent geologic modelling concepts.

Results in both the ACMA and Lewis deposit areas exceeded grade-thickness predicted by previous modelling, with higher grades observed over narrower intervals, particularly in sedimentary rocks.

Additional confirmation and extension drilling are being planned for the 2021 field season with a focus on further testing, orebody continuity, structural control, and geotechnical and geometallurgical data collection and analysis. The drilling programme specifics will be finalised once all assay results have been integrated into an interim model update. It is anticipated that on the completion of the 2021 drilling programme and a final geologic model update, the focus will then shift to updating the feasibility study subject to a formal decision by the Board.

Five of the top intervals received or updated since the 19 January 2021 media release include:

  • DC20-1930 intersected 51.15 m grading 4.6 g/t gold (Au), starting at 148.85 m drilled depth, including a sub interval of 7.6 m grading 12.4 g/t Au, starting at 182.4 m drilled depth.
  • DC20-1932 intersected 47.66 m grading 4.8 g/t Au, starting at 101.62 m drilled depth, including a sub interval of 4 m grading 19.5 g/t Au, starting at 143.28 m drilled depth.
  • DC20-1948 intersected 22.61 m grading 8.7 g/t Au, starting at 161.5 m drilled depth, including a sub interval of 10.08 m grading 15.5 g/t Au, starting at 167.5 m drilled depth.
  • DC20-1938 intersected 17.96 m grading 10.5 g/t Au, starting at 1.83 m drilled depth, including a sub interval of 3.96 m grading 28.0 g/t Au, starting at 1.83 m drilled depth.
  • DC20-1946 intersected 35.8 m grading 4.5 g/t Au, starting at 96.2 m drilled depth.

These results were accomplished between March and October 2020 with zero COVID-19 cases on site and no Lost-Time Incidents.

Barrick President and Chief Executive, Mark Bristow, said: “The highly successful and COVID-free conclusion of the 2020 drill programme, and in particular the strong results Barrick and NOVAGOLD have been sharing over the past 8 months, represent a major step forward in improving the geological confidence in the Donlin project, a necessary step to advancing Donlin up the value chain.”

Greg Lang, NOVAGOLD’s President and CEO, added: “On every level, the results of the largest drill programme 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. These have only served to elevate Donlin Gold’s confidence in the recent geologic modelling concepts developed by the Barrick and NOVAGOLD teams, while confirming multiple high-grade extensions in both the intrusive (igneous) and sedimentary rocks, including near surface. One such near surface hit in drill hole DC20-1938, revealed today in this final set of results, intersected 17.96 m grading 10.5 g/t Au including 3.96 m grading 28 g/t Au starting at 1.83 m drilled depth. Needless to say, the assay results from the 2020 drill programme 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.”

Dan Graham, General Manager of the Donlin Gold JV, commented: “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 (Y-K) region. 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 honour to work directly with our Alaska Native Corporation partners, Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC), as well as the communities in the Y-K region. Thanks to the Donlin Gold team, as well as to Calista and TKC for their dedication to the highest standards of safety, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship. We are all proud to be bringing a federally permitted project up the value chain in one of the world’s most stable jurisdictions, the great State of Alaska, where there are numerous examples of socially and environmentally responsible mining projects, we as an industry can be proud of, and which can provide long-lasting benefits to future generations.”

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