VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 7, 2011) - NovaGold Resources Inc. (News - Market indicators)(NYSE Amex:NG) The feasibility study completed on the Donlin Gold Project (formerly Donlin Creek) in 2009 is being updated to include power generation utilizing natural gas delivered to site via aproposed 500-kilometer natural gas pipeline from the Cook Inlet to the mine site. Utilizing natural gas is expected to lower costs to generate power and reduce operating risk. In connection with this update, Donlin Gold LLC, owned equally by wholly owned subsidiaries of NovaGold Resources Inc. ("NovaGold") and Barrick Gold Corporation ("Barrick"), has provided its owners with preliminary capital cost estimates of approximately US$6billion for the Project with an additional approximately US$1 billion for the natural gas pipeline. The previous capital cost estimate for the Project released in April 2009 was US$4.5 billion and did not include a natural gas pipeline. NovaGold was advised by Barrick that it will also discuss these preliminary capital costs estimates for the Donlin Gold Project at its Investor Day taking place today in Toronto, Canada.
"Since April 2009 the price of gold has more than doubled, yet capital costs have increased in line with the industry trends," commented Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, NovaGold's President and CEO. "We are encouraged by these developments and look forward to receiving the updated feasibility study before the end of the year."
Donlin Gold has advised its owners that this capital estimate is preliminary in nature with significant review and coordinating work remaining to be completed before the estimate is finalized for the updated feasibility study. Such work includes, among other activities, coordinating reviews between independent consultants, peer reviews and a final review by AMEC Americas Limited ("AMEC") as the feasibility study lead consultant. In addition, Barrick has initiated a full third-party review of the capital cost estimate by an independent consulting group with the results of such review to be provided to AMEC and Donlin Gold prior to the capital estimate and feasibility study estimate being finalized.
It is anticipated that the feasibility study update, including a revised National Instrument 43-101 compliant technical report by AMEC will be completed before the end of 2011. The feasibility study update will include the finalized capital cost estimates, updated operating costs, reflecting lower power costs and higher diesel, labour and other costs relative to the previous study, and revised economics based on these and other reviewed technical inputs. The revised economics will be based on current long-term forecasted gold prices which have risen significantly compared to US$900 per ounce of gold that was used in the 2009 feasibility study. NovaGold will announce details and results of the updated feasibility study when available.
The Donlin Gold Project is one of the world's largest undeveloped gold projects with proven and probable mineral reserves of 33.6 million ounces, measured and indicated mineral resources of 4.3 million ounces and inferred mineral resources of 4.4 million ounces.Please see the attached resource and reserve table for full disclosure. The updated feasibility study will contain revised mineral reserve and resource estimates. The Project is anticipated to be capable of producing over one million ounces of gold per year for over 25 years with significant additional exploration targets identified on an eight-kilometer mineralized trend. The Partners expect to formally initiate permitting for the Project early in 2012.
The technical information contained in this press release was reviewed by Kevin Francis, SME Registered Member, VP, Resources for NovaGold and a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
NovaGold is a precious metals company engaged in the exploration and development of mineral properties located principally in Alaska, U.S.A. and British Columbia, Canada. The Company is focused on advancing its two core properties, Donlin Gold and Galore Creek, with the objective of becoming a low-cost, million-ounce-a-year gold producer, and offers superior leverage to gold and copper with one of the largest mineral reserve and mineral resource bases of any junior or mid-tier gold company. NovaGold has a strong track record of expanding deposits through exploration success and forging collaborative partnerships, both with local communities and with major mining companies. The Donlin Gold project in Alaska, one of the world's largest undeveloped gold deposits, is held by a limited liability company owned equally by wholly-owned subsidiaries of NovaGold and Barrick Gold Corporation. The Galore Creek project in British Columbia, a large copper-gold-silver deposit, is held by a partnership owned equally by wholly-owned subsidiaries of NovaGold and Teck Resources Limited. NovaGold also owns a 100% interest in the high-grade Ambler copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver deposit in northern Alaska and has other earlier-stage exploration properties. NovaGold trades on the TSX and NYSE-AMEX under the symbol NG. More information is available at www.novagold.net or by emailing email@example.com.
Please visit the following link to see NovaGold's Reserve and Resource Table: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ng907i.pdf.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes certain "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of the applicable securities legislation industry United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation, statements relating to NovaGold's future operating or financial performance, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as "expects", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "potential", "possible", and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions, or results "will", "may", "could", or "should" occur or be achieved. These forward-looking statements may include statements regarding perceived merit of properties; exploration results and budgets; mineral reserves and resource estimates; work programs; capital expenditures; timelines; strategic plans; completion of transactions; market prices for precious and base metals; or other statements that are not statements of fact.
Forward-looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from NovaGold's expectations include the uncertainties involving the need for additional financing to explore and develop properties and availability of financing in the debt and capital markets; uncertainties involved in the interpretation of drilling results and geological tests and the estimation of reserves and resources; the need for continued cooperation with Barrick and other third parties for development of the Donlin Gold Project; the need for cooperation of government agencies and native groups in the development and operation of properties; the need to obtain permits and governmental approvals; risks of construction and mining projects such as accidents, equipment breakdowns, bad weather, non-compliance with environmental and permit requirements, unanticipated variation in geological structures, ore grades or recovery rates; unexpected cost increases, which could include significant increases in estimated capital and operating costs; fluctuations in metal prices and currency exchange rates; uncertainties and risks regarding permitting for the Project and permitting and construction of the proposed natural gas pipeline and other risk and uncertainties disclosed in NovaGold's Annual Information Form for the year-ended November 30, 2010, filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, and NovaGold's annual report on Form 40-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and in other NovaGold reports and documents filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time. NovaGold's forward-looking statements reflect the beliefs, opinions and projections on the date the statements are made. NovaGold assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change.
Cautionary Note Regarding Reserve and Resource Estimates
This press release has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. Unless otherwise indicated, all resource and reserve estimates included in this press release have been prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. NI 43-101 is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators which establishes standards for all public disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects. Canadian standards, including NI 43-101, differ significantly from the requirements of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), and resource and reserve information contained herein may not be comparable to similar information disclosed by U.S. companies. In particular, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the term "resource" does not equate to the term "reserves".
Under U.S. standards, mineralization may not be classified as a "reserve" unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve determination is made. The SEC's disclosure standards normally do not permit the inclusion of information concerning "measured mineral resources", "indicated mineral resources" or "inferred mineral resources" or other descriptions of the amount of mineralization in mineral deposits that do not constitute "reserves" by U.S. standards in documents filed with the SEC. U.S. investors should also understand that "inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an "inferred mineral resource" will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimated "inferred mineral resources" may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies except in rare cases. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an "inferred mineral resource" exists or is economically or legally mineable. Disclosure of "contained ounces" in a resource is permitted disclosure under Canadian regulations; however, the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute "reserves" by SEC standards as in-place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures. The requirements of NI 43-101 for identification of "reserves" are also not the same as those of the SEC, and reserves reported by the Company in compliance with NI 43-101 may not qualify as "reserves" under SEC standards. Accordingly, information concerning mineral deposits set forth herein may not be comparable with information made public by companies that report in accordance with U.S. standards.