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Drilling resumes at Novagold’s Donlin project

Donlin Gold camp site, Alaska. Image: Novagold

Novagold (TSX: NG) and its joint venture partner Barrick Gold (NYSE: GOLD, TSX: ABX) have reopened the Donlin camp in Alaska following a two-month halt due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Four drill rigs have been remobilized at the project, Novagold says.

The company anticipates that most of the planned program, aimed at confirming recent geologic modeling concepts and testing potential extensions of high-grade zones, will be completed by year-end. The 2020 drill program consists of approximately 80 holes totalling about 22,000 metres centered on the ACMA and Lewis resource areas.

Meanwhile, the multi-year site investigation program that commenced in mid-2019 as part of the project’s dam safety certification application has been temporarily paused due to the prioritization of the ongoing drill program.

The company anticipates that most of the planned program will be completed by year-end

The JV has also implemented enhanced health protocols for personnel, including people working at the Anchorage office and the project site. The policy includes, among other things, that all personnel should take a covid-19 test before coming into the Donlin camp and again when they leave.

Out-of-state contractors/employees require two negative covid-19 tests prior to going to camp. Personnel are regularly screened for symptoms, use charter flights to travel to and from the project site, and maintain a minimum of six feet of distance in eating areas and living quarters.

On a separate matter, further to its retaliation of an allegedly “error-laden” report published by J Capital Research at the end of the quarter, Novagold says it is considering various legal options against short-seller firm for those “defamatory” claims.