NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC. (NYSE-AMEX, TSX: NG) capped a successful year of achieving key milestones at all of its projects by announcing a strategic plan to unlock the value of its world-class suite of mining development and exploration assets.
The Company is focused on permitting and developing its 50%-owned flagship property, Donlin Gold, one of the world's largest known undeveloped gold deposits. NOVAGOLD is also committed to maximizing value of its non-core assets and is currently exploring opportunities to sell its interest in the Galore Creek copper-gold-silver project in British Columbia, Canada. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, NovaCopper Inc., which held NOVAGOLD's interest in the Upper Kobuk Mineral Project, located in the Ambler District, was spun out to shareholders of NOVAGOLD on April 30, 2012.
As envisioned, NOVAGOLD is now a well-financed, jurisdictionally secure Company well on its way to becoming a pure gold play exclusively focused on the advancement of Donlin Gold.
Donlin Gold, which is equally and jointly held with Barrick Gold Corporation — the world's largest gold company — is a uniquely attractive asset. In terms of the combined size, grade, exploration potential, production profile and jurisdiction, it is quite possibly the most important gold development project in the world today. Donlin Gold has approximately 39 million ounces of gold mineral resources, inclusive of mineral reserves (541 million tonnes at 2.24 g/t), not including an additional approximately six million ounces of inferred mineral resources (92 million tonnes at 2.0 g/t) with tremendous growth opportunities.¹
These numbers already place Donlin Gold well within the top 1% of known global gold deposits in terms of size. Yet, more potential exists. With the current mineral estimates from along just two miles of a well-established mineralized corridor that is five miles long, the site will undoubtedly yield further discoveries. Once in production, Donlin Gold should be the largest gold mine among seven major producing mines in Alaska.
NOVAGOLD also owns 50% of the Galore Creek copper-gold-silver project located in northern British Columbia. According to the Pre-Feasibility Study, Galore Creek is expected to be the largest copper mine in Canada. The company is currently evaluating opportunities to sell all or a portion of its interest in Galore Creek and will apply the proceeds toward the development of Donlin Gold.
NOVAGOLD is well-financed with a cash balance of approximately US$300 million, which is sufficient to take Donlin Gold through permitting. Management has expertise in permitting, mine development, and operations and a track record for delivering projects on time and on budget.
Committed to responsible development and operating to the highest environmental standards, we act with a long-term view, creating mutually beneficial relationships with our communities, employees, investors, partners and other people critical to our success and the economic development of Alaska.
¹Source: Donlin Gold Project NI 43-101 Technical Report entitled "Donlin Creek Gold Project Alaska, USA, NI 43-101 Technical Report on Second Updated Feasibility Study" effective November 18, 2011, amended January 20, 2012, prepared by Tony Lipiec, P.Eng., Gordon Siebel, R.M. SME, and Kirk Hanson, P.E. A copy of the Donlin Gold Technical Report is available here as well as at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov .