Donlin Gold LLC, owned 50:50 by NOVAGOLD Resources Inc. [NG-TSX, NYSE American] and Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX; GOLD-NYSE], reported the release of the final set of assay results from the 2021 drill program at the Donlin gold project 450 km northwest of Anchorage, Alaska. The remaining assay results for the 22 partial drill holes reported in previous releases and complete assay results for the final 21 drill holes of the 2021 drill program are reported below.
The comprehensive 79-hole, 24,264-metre 2021 drill program produced multiple high-grade gold intercepts. The results support the existing global resource estimate, the recent modelling concepts, and strategic mine planning work.
With the largest project budget in more than a decade, the owners have a plan in place to advance the Donlin Gold project up the value chain in 2022 and position the project to be able to proceed with the preparation of an updated feasibility study, subject to Donlin Gold LLC Board approval.
Additional State permits for the project were received at the end of 2021 â€“ the Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued two Special Area Permits required for pipeline facilities. In December 2021, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation approved a third extension of the air quality permit.
The 2021 drill program was completed in September with 79 holes drilled for a total of 24,264 metres. The final set of assay results released today includes assays for 21 complete holes and 22 partial holes, encompassing the remaining approximate 8,500 meters of length drilled. Refer to company press release for complete assays. The primary objective of the 2021 drill program was to validate recent geologic modeling concepts to support future feasibility work and test for extensions of high-grade zones.
Once the 2021 drill data has been incorporated into an updated resource model, it is anticipated that the owners will determine updated mining schedules and life-of-mine business plans prior to shifting to an updated feasibility study, subject to a formal decision by the Donlin Gold LLC Board to proceed.
Five of the top intervals received from the final set of 2021 assay results released today include drill hole DC21-2017 that intersected 19.00 metres grading 18.23 g/t gold starting at 144.53 metres drilled depth, including a sub interval of 14.31 metres grading 23.49 g/t gold starting at 144.53 metres drilled depth.
Hole DC21-1994 intersected 77.56 metres grading 3.51 g/t gold starting at 262.56 metres drilled depth, including a sub interval of 7.91 metres grading 12.39 g/t gold starting at 322.94 metres drilled depth. Hole DC21-2015 intersected 43.01 metres grading 5.04 g/t gold starting at 27.16 metres drilled depth, including a sub-interval of 5.99 metres of 11.81 g/t gold starting at 29.22 metres drilled depth.
Hole DC21-2019 intersected 28.23 metres grading 4.40 g/t gold starting at 156.26 metres drilled depth; and DC21-1998 intersected 45.83 metres grading 3.04 g/t gold starting at 103.55 metres drilled depth.
The Donlin Gold project hosts 39Â million oz gold grading 2.24 g/t in the Measured and Indicated mineral resource categories (100% basis). The planned pits in which the existing resources are sited occupy only 3 km of an 8 km mineralized belt, which itself is located on less than 5% of Donlin Goldâ€™s land position. Current activities at Donlin Gold are focused on the drill program, optimization efforts, community outreach, and advancing the remaining State permitting actions.