Barrick Gold President and CEO Mark Bristow and NOVAGOLD President and CEO Greg Lang visit the Donlin Gold project site in September. (Photo: Barrick Gold)

Donlin Gold LLC, owned 50/50 by Barrick Gold Corp. and NOVAGOLD Resources, made progress during an executive management workshop and site visit in early September. During the 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 meters of drilling continue to support the global resource estimate, recent modelling concepts, and strategic mine planning work, according to the company.

With a progression plan in place, subject to results from the upcoming drill program, the companies said they are well positioned to be able to proceed with a feasibility study update in 2022.

The 2021 drill program was completed in September with 79 holes drilled for a total of 24,264 meters (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 program. Final results from the 2021 drill program are expected to be disclosed in 2022.

The primary objective of the 2021 drill program was to complete the work necessary to validate and increase confidence in recent geologic modeling 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.

“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,” Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said. “We have a unique opportunity to progress a world-class project in both a jurisdiction and with local partners that recognize the contribution such an asset can bring to the lives of future generations of Alaskans.

NOVAGOLD President and CEO Greg Lang said the meetings provided a 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,” Lang said. “This campaign is not only yielding high-grade intercepts in the future open-pit areas; Donlin Gold’s 2021 drill program is producing some of the best drill results seen lately in the gold mining industry, from juniors to majors.”