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Donlin Gold is now in the  nal stretch of the permitting process; publication of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – a key step in project permitting, which, for an asset such as Donlin Gold, constitutes a major undertaking – is expected shortly. It’s an accomplishment
that represents a signi cant milestone that – as mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – involves preparation of comprehensive documentation, multiple public forums, and receipt of a multitude of comments designed to ensure that no issue voiced by
a broad range of stakeholders goes unaddressed. In early 2017, Donlin Gold responded to more than 100 requests for additional information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”), the project’s
lead federal permitting agency. Utilizing this information, the Corps was able to reply to the received comments on the draft EIS, re ne possible alternatives, and identify potential mitigation measures to be included in the  nal EIS. The preliminary  nal EIS was completed and distributed to the cooperating agencies in July 2017. Subsequently, they completed their review, on schedule, in mid-September. The Corps is currently  nishing its  nal internal review of the EIS, with
an anticipated publication date of early 2018 to be followed by the issuance of a Record of Decision (ROD) later in the year.
Donlin Gold will be obtaining over 100 permits, most of which are to be issued by the State of Alaska. In parallel with the NEPA process, Donlin Gold submitted applications for key state permits resulting in the issuance of the air pollution control permit in June 2017, as well as the release by the state late last year of the draft water discharge and integrated waste management permits for public comment. Other important state and federal permits and approvals are expected to
be issued shortly after the Corps’ ROD. The hard work by Donlin Gold and its owners’ professional teams is producing tangible results as permitting advances toward  nal agency actions in 2018.
Donlin Gold is a truly unique project. Its endowment of approximately 39,000,000 ounces of gold resources in the measured and indicated category, along with its average grade of 2.2 grams per tonne, are in a category all by themselves. Moreover, with planned production averaging approximately 1,100,000 ounces of gold per year over its projected 27-year mine life and most likely beyond, considering the exploration potential that exists along an 8-kilometer gold mineralized belt (as per the 2011 second updated feasibility study), Donlin Gold represents an extraordinary project in our sector. Lastly – and very importantly – besides size, quality, and exploration potential, we never forget that Donlin Gold is located in Alaska, a
state with gold production second only to Nevada and a culture
that welcomes responsible mine development. In an age of extreme geopolitical uncertainty around the world, NOVAGOLD and its partner in the project, Barrick Gold, are truly blessed. On a personal level: Other than Barrick’s Goldstrike, which is now a mature mine, in a career spanning 40 years I have never come across any other project that shares these attributes.
In 2017, along with the signi cant achievements on the permitting front mentioned earlier, we made real progress in advancing our project optimization e orts. Launched in July 2017 by NOVAGOLD
and Barrick, the drilling program – which included 16 core holes
(7,040 meters) – has given us additional geochemical and structural data for portions of the deposit, which will further strengthen our understanding of the targeted mineralized zones. Assaying of the
drill core is ongoing and will be incorporated into the optimization work, which will determine the best path forward for the project. Beyond evaluating enhancements to the project execution plan, we have also been assessing greater use of selective mining methods and investigating innovative technologies in logistics and automation.
We were encouraged by these results. Such  ndings will contribute valuable data to complete our optimization work and help us elaborate an execution plan to develop Donlin Gold in the most cost- e ective manner, while reducing execution risks and maintaining upside potential. We look forward to updating all of our stakeholders as our optimization e orts advance during 2018.
A discussion about the extraordinary progress we have achieved at Donlin Gold would not be complete without a special mention
of our local partners – namely the Calista Corporation, owners of
the project’s mineral rights, and The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC), owners of the surface rights. In the context of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), which provided twelve Alaska Native Regional Corporations the opportunity to select lands as partial
Nearly double the gold industry’s average grade.
Donlin Gold average grade* world average grade†
2.24g/t 1.13g/t
* Donlin Gold resources as per the second updated feasibility study effective November 18, 2011, as amended January 20, 2012. Represents 100% of measured resources of 7.7 million tonnes at 2.52 g/t and indicated resources of 533.6 million tonnes at 2.24 g/t and includes proven and probable reserves. NOVAGOLD’s share of total Donlin Gold resources is 50%. † 2016 average grade of open-pit and underground deposits with gold as primary commodity and over 1Moz in measured and indicated resources, sourced from SNL Metals & Mining.

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