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Donlin set to grow resource

Development partners Barrick Gold and Novagold say they have completed the most extensive drilling programme at the Donlin gold project in Alaska in the past 12 years, with a resource update to come.
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Map showing the 2020 drill collar locations at Donlin Gold, in Alaska, USA

Donlin's 39Moz (average 2.24g/t) measured and indicated resource makes it one of the biggest undeveloped gold deposits in the world.

Exploration has focused on about 3km of an 8km-long known system.

The 23,400m, 85-hole 2020 Donlin drilling campaign targetted the ACMA and Lewis deposits.

The partners have received assays for the first 25 holes, or about 30% of the length drilled, with results for nine holes already released. Better intercepts from the latest holes are 4.17m grading 80.6 grams gold per tonne from 123.5m depth, including 3.15m of 106.2g/t; 6.93m at 43.1g/t from 178.6m, including 3.25m of 90.5g/t; 19.77m at 11.3g/t from 48.86m, including 7m at 25.2g/t; and 33.88m at 6.5g/t, including 7.94m at 11.3g/t.

The results will feed into a resource update for the project and will be followed up next year with more drilling.

According to operator Novagold, results continued to indicated better-than-modelled grade thickness, with higher grades observed over narrower intervals, particularly in sedimentary rocks.

"With the industry burning through reserves, and grades continuing to decline, great drill results with even higher-than-modelled grades are exciting for any mining company - and we believe that to be particularly true for Donlin Gold at this late stage of development," said Novagold CEO Greg Lang.

Barrick boss, Mark Bristow, said the results continued to highlight Donlin's world-class potential.

Earlier this year shortseller, J Capital Research, alleged Donlin was technically so challenging it constituted a "pipe dream" and "would never be built", and that Barrick and Novagold were gaslighting investors

Novagold filed a lawsuit against JCAP in July saying it suffered damages from the manipulative "short and distort" report.

Novagold shares (TSX: NG) are up 59% over the past 12 months at C$14.11. Barrick's (NYSE American: GOLD) are up 55% at US$26.63.