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Barrick and NOVAGOLD agree on next steps toward advancement of Donlin Gold

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Global Mining Review,

Donlin Gold LLC, owned 50/50 by Barrick Gold Corporation and NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC., has reported progress made during the executive management workshop and site visit in early September between senior representatives from Barrick and NOVAGOLD, as well as the Donlin Gold management team.


  • During the September 2021 executive management meetings in Alaska, the combined team reaffirmed its confidence in the deposit and charted a course toward advancing the project up the value chain.
  • In addition, Senior Executives, including Barrick and NOVAGOLD CEOs Mark Bristow and Greg Lang, met with local stakeholders as well as senior Alaska Federal and State government officials who expressed their continued strong support for the project.
  • Assay results from approximately 65% or 15 700 m of drilling continue to support the global resource estimate, recent modelling concepts, and strategic mine planning work.
  • With a progression plan in place, subject to results from the upcoming drill programme the partners are well positioned to be able to proceed with a feasibility study update in 2022.

2021 drill programme results

The 2021 drill programme was completed in September with 79 holes drilled for a total of 24 264 m. To date, Donlin Gold has reported assays for 36 complete holes and 22 partial holes, encompassing 15 700 m of length drilled. The last core was logged in mid-October with final samples sent off site to laboratories for further processing. The camp was closed at the end of October and is expected to reopen in January 2022 for a winter drill programme. Final results from the 2021 drill programme are expected to be disclosed in 2022.

The primary objective of the 2021 drill programme was to complete the work necessary to validate and increase confidence in recent geologic modelling concepts to support future feasibility work.

The logging and assay results will 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. Initial assay results from the 2021 drill programme were disclosed in a media release on 2 September 2021, five of the top intervals received since this release include:

  • DC21-1976 intersected 57.25 m grading 6.87 g/t gold (Au) starting at 270.35 m drilled depth, including a sub interval of 4.05 m grading 18.13 g/t Au, starting at 288.95 m drilled depth.
  • DC21-1970 intersected 19.15 m grading 12.57 g/t Au starting at 173.19 m drilled depth, including a sub interval of 12.15 m grading 17.28 g/t Au, starting at 179.19 m drilled depth.
  • DC21-1964 intersected 37.85 m grading 6.28 g/t Au starting at 110.65 m drilled depth, including sub intervals of 7.95 m grading 15.99 g/t Au starting at 110.65 m drilled depth and 3.13 m grading 10.21 g/t Au starting at 143.37 m drilled depth.
  • DC21-1980 intersected 12.18 m grading 19.02 g/t Au starting at 293.4 drilled depth; including a sub interval of 4.65 m grading 36.53 g/t Au starting at 300.29 m drilled depth.
  • DC21-1994 intersected 33.53 m grading 5.89 g/t Au starting at the surface; including a sub interval of 6.06 m grading 15.22 g/t Au starting at 9.24 m drilled depth.

Barrick President and Chief Executive, Mark Bristow, said: “Getting together in Alaska, visiting the Donlin project site and sitting down with stakeholders drove home the significance and importance of Donlin to both partners. We have a unique opportunity to progress a world-class project in both a jurisdiction and with local partners that recognise the contribution such an asset can bring to the lives of future generations of Alaskans. Our priority is to do that responsibly and sustainably and it is an illustration of Barrick’s and NOVAGOLD’s strong partnership that we were able to have such a productive workshop and come away with next steps to move the project forward.”

Greg Lang, NOVAGOLD’s President and CEO, added: “The successfully concluded site visit and the meetings that followed with our Alaskan constituencies provided an excellent lead-in to Barrick’s and NOVAGOLD’s onward progression for the Donlin Gold project. The identification of key work plans represents a most welcome and important achievement in taking Donlin Gold up the value chain and is the natural extension of confirmation work carried out with our partners at Barrick, which includes the recently completed drill campaign. This campaign is not only yielding high-grade intercepts in the future opencast areas; Donlin Gold’s 2021 drill programme is producing some of the best drill results seen lately in the gold mining industry, from juniors to majors. I’m sure I speak for both Barrick and NOVAGOLD when I say we are grateful to our local and state partners, who have worked with us to reach these important milestones.”

Dan Graham, General Manager of Donlin Gold, concluded: “We enjoyed hosting the senior management teams from both Barrick and NOVAGOLD here in person in Alaska. We are also energised with the interest and resources the owners are dedicating to the Donlin Gold project. It is a great economic opportunity for the region and the state.”

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