Barrick, Novagold comment on Alaska water license appeal

Share this article

Donlin Gold LLC, an entity owned equally by Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX, GOLD-NYSE] and Novagold Resources Inc. [NG-TSX, NYSE American] on Tuesday released an update relating to the Clean Water Act, Section 401 certification of its Donlin Creek gold project in Alaska.

It said an appeal has been filed against the decision by the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) in May 2021, to uphold the 401 Certification.

The decision is being appealed in Alaska’s Superior Court by Earthjustice, a San Francisco-based activist law firm on behalf of the Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC), the Tribal Council of Bethel, a village in the Yukon-Kushkokwim region.

Donlin Gold hosts one of the world’s largest and highest grade undeveloped open pit gold endowments.

It hosts a measured and indicated resource of 541 million tonnes of grade of 2.24 g/t gold, containing 39 million ounces of the yellow metal. Those estimates are based on an updated feasibility study dated, November, 2011 that was amended in January 20, 2012. They include proven reserves of 8.0 million tonnes, grading 2.52 g/t.

The planned pits in which the existing resources are situated occupy only three kilometres of an eight- kilometre mineralized belt, which itself is located on less than 5% of Donlin Gold’s land position.

Novagold said Earthjustice’s original administrative appeal of the 401 Certification to the ADEC Commissioner followed several requests for informal review made by ONC of the issued 401 Certification in 2019 and 2020, which were granted by ADEC.

“We believe those informal reviews served to strengthen ADEC’s basis for their original decision,’’ Donlin Gold said in a press release.

Having exhausted all administrative appeal options, Earthjustice filed on appeal in Alaska Superior Court on June 28, 2021, challenging the ADEC Commissioner’s decision to uphold the 401 Certification.

On Tuesday Donlin Gold said it strongly believes that the Commissioner’s decision to uphold the 401 Certification validates the project stakeholders’ commitment to advance the Donlin Gold project in a safe and environmentally responsible manner for the benefit of all Alaskans.”

“Over a six-year period, Donlin Gold conducted an extensive, transparent, and independently reviewed scientific evaluation that included significant community participation and scrutiny, and consistently demonstrated that the project fully complies with the Clean Water Act, the Alaska Water Quality Standards, Anti-degredation analysis and other applicable State and Federal laws.’’

The process culminated with the issuance of the 401 Certification by ADEC in 2018.

Donlin Gold said the 401 Certification clearly demonstrates that the project fully complies with the high standards of the environmental projection imposed by the State of Alaska and appropriate agencies of the Federal government of the United States.

Current activities at Donlin Gold are focused on the drill program, optimization efforts and community outreach.

Novagold shares were almost unchanged on the news, rising 0.5% or $0.05 to $10.03. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $16.16 and $9.85.

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't miss the


Exclusive editorial

Breaking News

Quality Company Coverage

Expert Writers

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Resource World Magazine will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.