Joint venture partners Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: GOLD) and NovaGold Resources (TSX: NG) plan to spend $31 to $35 million in 2021 at the Donlin Gold project in Alaska.
The expenditures include $11 million for the 2021 drilling program, camp improvements and studies; $7 million for permitting, community engagement and administration; and an additional $4 million for other studies contingent upon mid-year approval by both owners.
NovaGold reported 1Q21 financial results, including cash and cash equivalents of $63.2 million and term deposits of $51 million.
Donlin Gold published last week final results for its latest drilling program. The company encountered multiple high-grade extensions in both the intrusive (igneous) and sedimentary rocks, including near-surface. One such near-surface hit in drill hole DC20-1938 intersected 17.96 m grading 10.5 g/t gold.
“The exceptional results Donlin Gold has received, from the outset right up to the latest set of results, is indicative of the extraordinary nature of this deposit,” NovaGold CEO Gregory Lang said in a media statement.
“We are proud of the fact that, despite the global pandemic, we were able to carry out the largest drill program at Donlin Gold since 2008.”
Additional confirmation and extension drilling are being planned for the 2021 field season with a focus on further testing, orebody continuity, structural control, and geotechnical and geometallurgical data collection and analysis.
“On the completion of the 2021 drilling program and a final geologic model update, the focus will then shift to updating the feasibility study,” the company said.
According to NovaGold, the Donlin deposit hosts one of the largest and highest-grade undeveloped open-pit gold endowments in the world, with an estimated 39 million ounces of gold grading 2.24 g/t in the measured and indicated resource categories.
Midday Thursday, NovaGold’s stock was up 3.5% on the TSE. The company has a C$3.7 billion market capitalization.