Donlin Gold LLC, owned 50/50 by Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX; GOLD-NYSE] and NovaGold Resources Inc. [NG-TSX, NYSE American], has released the initial assay results for the 2022 drill program at the Donlin gold project 450 km northwest of Anchorage, Alaska.
The drill program is ahead of schedule with 26,800 metres of the originally planned 34,000-metre drill program completed and assays received from approximately 9,870 metres of drilling. The results support the recent modelling concepts and strategic mine planning work.
With the largest budget in more than a decade, the project is advancing up the value chain and working toward a feasibility study decision, subject to Donlin Gold LLC board approval.
Barrick president and CEO, Mark Bristow, said: “As expected, the drill program for 2022 continues to enhance our understanding of the orebodies that make up the Donlin project. Also encouraging is that this year’s drilling campaign is ahead of schedule and results so far support the most recent modelling concepts as we focus on moving the project toward a feasibility study decision. I look forward to the Donlin Gold workshop in Alaska in September to advance these efforts.”
Greg Lang, NovaGold’s president and CEO, said: “The 2022 drill program has been extremely exciting, not to mention rewarding. With the latest set of assays, we continue to enjoy some of the best gold intercepts in the mining industry. The outstanding results reported today, such as the high grade at ACMA and the deep exploration work, further substantiate Donlin Gold’s potential, and the recent modelling concepts, in support of the strategic mine planning work and the engineering studies. We have significantly derisked Donlin Gold over many years, taking it up the value chain so as to improve and enhance the value of the project for all our stakeholders. This progress is demonstrated through our commitment and dedication to building trust and transparency with our Alaska native corporation partners, Calista Corp. and The Kuskokwim Corp., with whom we have created a model for responsible mining development.”
Dan Graham, general manager of Donlin Gold, added: “Donlin Gold’s top priorities continue to be the health and safety of our people following the best practices in environmental stewardship for the benefit of the people of Alaska. We could not be more pleased with the work of our 2022 Donlin Gold site crew. While exceeding productivity rates and running ahead of schedule, the overall morale of employees has been high, and our safety record has remained strong. Moreover, we are most gratified to report that, during the program, the majority of our 150 employees and contractors were local hires from 24 Y-K communities in Alaska.”
The prime focus this year is to undertake a 34,000-metre drill program with tight-spaced grid drilling as well as in-pit and ex-pit exploration; and to input the results from this drilling into the geologic modelling and interpretation work being used for updated resource models. In June, the Donlin Gold LLC board approved an additional 43 drill holes and 8,380 metres to infill one of the 20-metre grids to 10-metre spacing.
Following the excellent results of 2021, the companies are encouraged by the expanded drill program for 2022, with drilling also focused on upside prospects in the ACMA and Lewis pits where drilling so far has been limited. The new assays received have thus far yielded some outstanding intercepts, with the five top intervals released today being DC22-2040 that intersected 52.27 metres grading 14.63 g/t gold starting at 232.95 metres drilled depth, including subintervals of 13.94 metres grading 33.95 g/t gold starting at 232.95 metres drilled depth and 16.45 metres grading 13.50 g/t gold starting at 257.18 metres drilled depth.
DC22-2040 intersected 18.65 metres grading 10.78 g/t gold starting at 197.60 metres drilled depth, including a subinterval of 7.68 metres grading 19.69 g/t gold starting at 199.35 metres drilled depth. DC22-2056 intersected 73.98 metres grading 4.21 g/t gold starting at 99.82 metres drilled depth, including a subinterval of 6.16 metres grading 18.20 g/t gold starting at 109.12 metres drilled depth.
DC22-2063 intersected 12.10 metres grading 22.15 g/t gold starting at 130.04 metres drilled depth, including a subinterval of 5.43 metres grading 47.17 g/t starting 135.48 metres drilled depth; and DC22-2067 intersected 44.58 metres grading 4.50 g/t gold starting at 464.06 metres drilled depth, including subintervals of 3.11 metres grading 10.79 g/t gold starting at 464.06 metres drilled depth and 6.35 metres grading 10.26 g/t gold starting at 496.00 metres drilled depth.